Following SWC Protest, Apology from Ryanair CEO Welcomed Over ‘Palestine’ Announcement on Flight to Tel Aviv

June 15, 2023

Following a protest to the CEO of Rynair, Eddie Wilson, the Simon Wiesenthal Center received a letter of apology over an incident that took place on June 10th aboard a flight from Bologna, Italy to Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Center urged Mr. Wilson to investigate when a flight attendant repeatedly announced, in both Italian and English, that the plane would be landing in ‘Palestine,’ instead of its correct location, the State of Israel.

“How would Ryan Air react if their flight attendant on a flight to Dublin announced multiple times that passengers would soon be arriving in the United Kingdom?” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director.

Mr. Wilson’s letter stated, in part, “I am very familiar with the work of the Simon Wiesenthal Center … It is not Ryanair policy (or our crew practice) to refer to Tel Aviv as being in any country other than Israel. The crew member in question has been spoken to and received a warning to ensure that such an error is never repeated. Israel is an important partner for Ryanair. We are Israel's second-largest airline and we plan to continue to invest in Israel to grow traffic and connectivity both for Israelis traveling to Europe and also to bring much- needed inbound tourism to Israel.

Welcoming the apology, Rabbi Cooper said, “Everyone is entitled to their opinions but not to alternative facts.”

June 13, 2023:  Read Simon Wiesenthal Center Letter to Eddie Wilson, Ryanair CEO

June 15, 2023: Read response letter to Rabbi Cooper from Eddie Wilson, Ryanair CEO

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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