Cathay Pacific Airways has dismissed three flight attendants on Tuesday after a passenger accused them of discriminating against non-English speakers.
The passenger, who spoke Mandarin, said that the crew members had refused to serve her and other non-English speakers, and had made derogatory comments about them. The incident reportedly took place on Cathay Pacific flight CX987 on Sunday May 21.
An investigation into the incident followed swiftly after an audio recording went viral on social media, which appeared to capture a crewmember saying “If you cannot say blanket in English, you cannot have it.”
The incident has sparked outrage in China, with many people calling for a boycott of Cathay Pacific. The Chinese government has also expressed its displeasure with the airline.
It warned that it could take further action if Cathay Pacific does not take steps to address the issue of discrimination.
In response to the incident, Cathay Pacific has said that it is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all passengers, regardless of their language or nationality.
The airline also said that it is working to improve its training for cabin crew on how to deal with passengers who do not speak English.
The passenger who alleged discrimination said that she was on a Cathay Pacific flight from Chengdu to Hong Kong when she was refused service by three cabin crew members.
The passenger said that the crew members told her that they could not understand her, and that she would have to speak English if she wanted to be served.
The passenger also said that the crew members made derogatory comments about her and other non-English speakers.
The passenger said that she felt humiliated and discriminated against, and that she would never fly Cathay Pacific again.
Cathay Pacific response
Cathay Pacific launched an investigation into the allegations, and on Tuesday May 23 the airline announced that it had fired the three cabin crew members. The airline also apologized to the passengers who had been affected by the incident.
In a statement, Cathay Pacific said that it “takes a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination of any kind.”
The airline also said that it is “committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all passengers, regardless of their language or nationality.”
Chinese Government response
The Chinese government has also expressed its displeasure with Cathay Pacific. On May 24, 2023, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that it was “deeply concerned” about the incident.
The ministry also said that it would “continue to monitor the situation closely.”
The Chinese government has a history of acting against companies that it believes are discriminating against Chinese citizens. In 2017, the Chinese government banned the import of milk from New Zealand after a Chinese infant died after drinking contaminated milk.
It is unclear what action the Chinese government will take against Cathay Pacific. However, the airline is likely to face increased scrutiny from the Chinese government in the wake of the incident.