PARIS – A French court on Thursday ordered Air France to pay a ?10,000 ($12,800) fine for having ordered a pro-Palestinian activist off a flight to Tel Aviv because she was not Jewish.
The court also ordered the French flagship carrier to pay ?3,000 in damages to the passenger and her legal fees.
Horia Ankour, a nursing student, had attempted to fly to Israel from France last April to take part in the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign, which saw hundreds of activists seek access to Israel in a bid to travel to the Palestinian territories.
Europe’s main airlines faced a wave of passenger fury during the campaign after cancelling some 300 tickets following heavy Israeli pressure.
Ankour was taken off the plane in Nice after answering “no” to two questions asked by an Air France employee. The first was whether she had an Israeli passport, the second was whether she was Jewish. When the 30-year-old answered negatively to both she was escorted from the flight.
French prosecutors backed her, saying it was a clear case of discrimination. Air France had said that her name was on a list of undesirables provided by Israeli authorities and that it was certain she wouldn’t be allowed into the country.