Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

Israel accuses BMI of “trying to hide the existence of Israel”

Written by editor

British airline BMI has apologised after in-flight maps on its London-Tel Aviv service did not identify Israel.

British airline BMI has apologised after in-flight maps on its London-Tel Aviv service did not identify Israel.

The moving maps marked Islamic holy sites but showed only the city of Haifa, identified by its Arabic name, Khefa.

Israeli officials accused BMI of trying to “hide the existence of Israel”.

But BMI said it was a technical error – the maps had not been changed since the planes were taken over from a former airline which flew to the Middle East.

“If BMI had any political agenda in order not to anger neighbouring countries, it would not have invested so much in the Tel Aviv line,” AFP news agency quoted a spokesman as saying.

BMED, which was taken over by BMI in 2007, had flown from the UK to many Muslim countries in the Middle East and so the maps had pointed out sites which were relevant to passengers.

A BMI spokesman told the BBC the maps should have been deactivated before the planes were deployed on the new route but “due to a technical error this did not take place”.

Israeli transport ministry Director General Gideon Sitterman, said it was “unacceptable” that Israel had been “wiped off the map”.

“Doing business with Israel has its advantages and disadvantages, but we will not agree to a situation where they hide the existence of Israel but want to do business with Israel,” he told Israeli army radio.

BMI has withdrawn the two planes from service while new maps are installed, but said larger planes had been scheduled to take over the route last Sunday anyway.

The spokesman told the BBC that it had been a genuine error.