A German airline apologized on Tuesday for its decision to exclude a large group of Orthodox Jews who were boarding their flight in Frankfurt when the airline refused to let them board due to a small number of them refusing to wear masks. 

Lufthansa expressed its regret regarding the incident, reaffirming its stance against anti-Semitism and discrimination of any kind while apologizing for the choices and conduct of some of its employees during that time, according to the New York Daily News

“We regret that the large group was denied boarding rather than limiting it to the non-compliant guests,” the company said in a statement.

Passengers who were discriminated against said that their tickets to Budapest were canceled after an unrelated incident in New York where other Jewish people who were not a part of their group refused to put on their masks, with Lufthansa banning them from any flights that day, CNN reported. 

Video of the incident showed the Orthodox Jews yelling at the employees and the German police, with passenger Yitzy Halpern asking openly as to why they were banned from their flight and other flights from Lufthansa for what people who were not in their group did, remarking that he had been wearing his mask the entire time they were there. 

“I'm not with the group. I understand that pilot made a decision and we don't question the pilot's decision but apparently, we're banned from the other Lufthansa flights... Is this a Lufthansa decision, that all Jewish people that were on that flight can't go on any other flight today?”

Two Jewish men who were on the same flight were allowed on the plane, with one of them being stopped at the gate before being allowed on the plane after a discussion with the crew.

“We don't dress like ultraorthodox, we looked like regular civilians,” Max Weingarten said. “The selection of Jews versus non-Jews or the selection between Jews is horrifying. It was some type of unacceptable selection that was done. I felt completely uncomfortable.”

Lufthansa is investigating the matter internally. CEO Carsten Spohr has decried the incident as “unacceptable,” and spoke with a rabbi from Berlin promising to figure out why such an incident could happen in their airline. 

“We are in detailed analysis (for) days how this could have happened. What exactly has happened. Various sources. We talked to our crew members by now. We talked to the business the ground. It's obvious. That's why we apologized,” he said. “This is nowhere in line with our rules of communication and rules of behavior.”

ashim-d-silva-pGcqw1ARGyg-unsplash A man was cleared of criminality in relation to an emergency landing in LaGuardia on Saturday that was caused by a woman who mistook his vintage camera for a bomb. This is a representational image. Ashim D’Silva/Unsplash.