Friday 10 March 2017

This Country Does NOT Appear On Airline Route Maps - Here Is Why


Airline route maps are part of the in-flight entertainment systems and allow passengers to see exactly where they are at that moment in time.

But these maps can often seem a world of their own.

While they may pick up cities and countries which you have never heard of, they also fail to show certain places.

And one country in particular - Israel - seems to be omitted from the maps by several airlines. But why?

Research by Joel Waldfogel and Paul Vaaler from the University of Minnesota have analysed how many airlines have chosen to remove the Middle Eastern country from their route maps.

They looked at 111 airlines, whose maps, although depict the Middle East, fail to highlight Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Haifa or the actual country itself.

A report by the pair states: “While product differentiation is generally benign, it can be employed to discriminate against customer groups, or in unprofitable ways that indulge owners’ tastes for discrimination.”


They identified that the following Middle Eastern airlines do not show Israel on their maps: Etihad, Saudia, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways and EgyptAir.

It is no secret that Israel has been at the centre of numerous tensions and disagreements in this part of the world.

But do airlines really discriminate against the country?

Etihad claims that its maps only show countries which it or one of its partners flies to and Israel is not one of them.

But it is not just Middle Eastern based airlines that have removed the country from their route maps.

Air France was forced to apologise back in August 2015 after passengers pointed out that Israel was not shown on their maps.

In response, the airline said the omission was “due to a map scale and display problem”.

Waldfogel and Vaaler’s report also stated: “Many international airlines are majority state-owned. We can reasonably infer that majority state-owned international airlines located in countries not recognising Israel have owners with a taste for discrimination against Israel.”

According to the report, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates do not regonise Israel.

It also found that other Middle East countries do not completely deny the country’s existence.

“Royal Jordanian Airlines and Turkish Airlines both fly to Tel Aviv and depict this destination city (but not its country) on online route maps.”



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