New York - Spain’s Iberia airlines issued a statement following an investigation on flight IB3316 where a Spanish pilot has allegedly said “Welcome to Palestine” upon landing in Tel Aviv.
New York – Spain’s Iberia airlines issued a statement following an investigation on flight IB3316 where a Spanish pilot has allegedly said “Welcome to Palestine” upon landing in Tel Aviv.
Iberia officials interviewed crew members and passengers of the October 28 flight from Madrid to Tel Aviv in an attempt to find out the real story, according to the report sent by the Spanish airline.
Following the investigation, the Spanish airline concluded that the pilot never mentioned the word Palestine upon landing in Tel Aviv.
“Dear passengers, we are descending to land at our destination, Tel Aviv,” was all the pilot said according to the airline’s official statement.
Spanish-speaking passengers have allegedly confirmed the official airline communiqué, denying previous media reports about the pilot saying “Welcome to Palestine”.
The same report noted that it is a possibility for Spanish-speakers to have mistakenly heard the word Palestine considering the similarity in pronunciation between ‘Palestine’ and ‘destination’ in Spanish: “aterrizar en nuestro destino, Tel Aviv” and “aterrizar en Palestina, Tel Aviv”.
Iberia stressed that the same welcoming message in English by the captain did not cause any confusion in pronunciation.
Media reports said that several Israeli passengers were furious and had even approached the captain while inside the aircraft, prompting him to lock himself in the cockpit.
Iberia airlines has denied any confrontations between the captain and the passengers, stressing that the landing of flight IB3316 occurred under normal circumstances.
The Spanish airline’s statement apologized for any misunderstanding this situation caused.
Iberia has been flying to Tel Aviv for over 30 years, and is currently operating 13 weekly flights between Madrid and Tel Aviv.