The issue with the map, which passengers of Air France flights can use to track progress or just check geography, was noticed by pro-Israel group Stand With Us.
“Apparently, Air France removed Israel/Tel Aviv from their flight tracker map, despite the fact Tel Aviv is one of their official destinations. Additionally, they now note ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza Strip’ despite the fact neither of these are destinations of Air France,” the group said in a Facebook post last Thursday.
A picture confirming the report was taken during a flight from Los Angeles to Paris. Similar images taken on other Air France flights soon surfaced.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center was tipped off and wrote to the French airline demanding an explanation. Air France replied that they “deeply regret this incident, due to a map scale and display problem which is currently being resolved,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
A similar scandal happened in 2009, when the British airline BMI removed Israel from in-flight maps on some of its planes. The move was reportedly motivated by desire not to offend Muslim passengers from Saudi Arabia, as the map also showed the direction and distance to Mecca.
BMI rejected the blunder had any political angle and apologized, saying it was due to a ‘logistical problem.’
Israel has been subjected to sanctions by some European countries over its continued occupation of Palestinian territories and the policy of illegally building settlements there. The Palestinian Authority is promoting an international campaign to boycott Israeli companies that do business in the occupied territories.