Cathay Pacific Airways has fired three flight attendants for mocking non-English speaking passengers during a Sunday flight. An audio clip of the incident has gone viral on the internet, BBC reported.
The Hong Kong carrier took action after details of the alleged incident aboard a flight from Chengdu in Sichuan province to Hong Kong on Sunday (May 21) were posted online.
The passengers wrote online posts about their alleged experiences. They said flight attendants complained among themselves about passengers in English and Cantonese, and made fun of a passenger for asking for a carpet instead of a blanket.
A flight attendant is accused of telling a passenger they could not have a blanket because they couldn’t say it in English, Reuters reported.
The post drew criticism of the airlines on social media in China.
The netizens accused the airline of “worshipping” foreigners and looking down on mainlanders.
Hong Kong chief executive John Lee also said the incident had “hurt the feelings of compatriots in Hong Kong and the mainland”.
The carrier said the experiences of passengers on the flight had caused ‘widespread concern’ and added it ‘sincerely apologized’.
The airline announced it had suspended the flight attendants and launched an internal investigation.
Hong Kong’s flagship carrier has tried to rebuild from difficult years during the health crisis.
It was badly hit by flight cancellations, border closures and strict quarantine measures for crew.