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I'm an Israeli expat living in Europe (proper residence etc. but no citizenship/passport). I intend to travel from Europe to India, and I'm considering using an airline based in a state without diplomatic relations with Israel, which may or may not be somewhat hostile to it (e.g. Emirates but not just them).

My questions:

  1. Will I have problems with my specific choice or can I just safely book the ticket?
  2. More generally, how can I tell which airlines might be problematic for me to fly with, using an Israeli passport, and assuming I fly between places through which I can pass with that passport?

Notes:

  • Please do not interpret this question as trying to legitimize or smooth out issues stemming from problematic Israeli policies; I have strong political opinions (dissenting by Israeli standards) on these matters which I will obviously not go into on this website, and am not passing judgment this way or that, for the purposes of this question, on airlines not taking on Israeli passengers.
  • Answers regarding transit stops are relevant.
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    @chx Not a duplicate nor too broad: I'm reasonably sure I provided the definitive answer for the OP's itinerary, and it's three airlines long. Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 10:49
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    Oooooooops! What a crazy world we live in! Retracted close vote.
    – user4188
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 10:50
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    @chx: Could you elaborate on that comment a bit? I didn't follow all of the "action".
    – einpoklum
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 12:52
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    "(...) living in Europe (...)" and "(...) I will probably prefer a direct flight" doesn't seem to match. Europe is huge. Lufthansa offers a direct flights to India (from Frankfurt and Munich) to many cities and certainly doesn't care about Israeli passport. So does British Airways, KLM and Air France. All of them offers direct flights to India from capital cities. Whether this suits you depends on in exactly what country and city you're currently living? Europe is huge.
    – trejder
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 20:41
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    flyeast.co.il has an FAQ in Hebrew that addresses this matter (Israeli citizens flying through the emirates) flyeast.co.il/questions-and-answers.html
    – Michal
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 21:48

1 Answer 1

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As a rule of thumb, if the country does not accept Israeli passports, its airlines will not accept them either.

In the Middle East, this means primarily Iran Air, Kuwait Airways and Saudia are off the table for your itinerary. There are a number of minor carriers in the region that would also refuse you in theory (MEA, Iraqi, etc), but as far as I'm aware none fly to India, so these would not be an issue in practice. (To be quite precise, Iraqi actually does fly to India, but it's banned from the EU!)

However, note that the five biggest players -- Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Turkish and Gulf Air -- do accept Israeli citizens for connecting flights.

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    @jpatokal: Can you possibly link to a reference regarding the acceptance policy for one or more of these airlines?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 9:39
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    @einpoklum See: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/39039/… Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 10:34
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    It appears some of these airlines discriminate against Israeli passport holders even when operating in the US, which is legally contentious: ibtimes.com/… and algemeiner.com/2016/03/10/…
    – knowah
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 22:08
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    @knowah Kuwait Airways terminated its US flights for this reason. Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 10:20
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    @jpatokal (+1) I think you might want to add Oman Air to your list. I have never used it but I have seen it show up in search results for flights to India and it seems roughly equivalent in size to Gulf Air (although it's admittedly much smaller than Turkish or Emirates).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 12:34

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