Delta Air Lines today issued a statement to clarify its tie-up with Saudi Arabian Airlines after outrage over reports that the partnership would force the Atlanta carrier to bar Jews from boarding flights to Saudi Arabia.
That airline says it neither operates service to the Kingdom nor shares codes with any airline that doe. It does not plan to enter any reciprocal plan with SAA, such as sharing frequent miles.
Delta’s agreement is a “standard interline” pact that enables passengers to book tickets on multiple carriers. The airline points out that competitors American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines have interline pacts with the Saudis.
The news reports caught the eye of Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, who penned a letter today to Delta CEO Richard Anderson to “ensure that Jewish, Israeli and other non-Muslim passengers do not face discrimination as a result of the partnership.”
The ADL called on Delta to make it clear to officials of SAA and the Saudi government that “it will not be a party” to discriminatory policies.
Foxman noted Saudi Arabia’s past practice of banning travelers who had an “Israel” stamp in their passports, a practice that “runs contrary to the spirit and intent of Delta’s non-discrimination policy.”