Air China has been forced to apologize for an inflight-magazine article in which travelers are warned to avoid certain minority neighborhoods in London.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the state-run airline is in damage control mode after a diplomatic spat erupted over the article.
An excerpt shared on social media shows several lines on safety which tells readers that precautions are needed when “entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people”.
The magazine advised tourists “not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when traveling”.
In a statement Thursday, Air China said it had removed all of its in-flight magazines.
Blaming an “editorial mistake” by the company that publishes the magazines, it apologized for “inappropriate” remarks and said it was sorry for the negative impact on passengers and the airline.
After reports in the British media about the article, a British Labour Party member of parliament, Virendra Sharma, said he asked the Chinese ambassador to the UK for an apology.
On his blog, Sharma said he wrote to the ambassador, saying “I am shocked and appalled that even today some people would see it as acceptable to write such blatantly untrue and racist statements.”
Asked in a regular news briefing whether the Chinese ambassador had gotten involved in the situation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the ministry had noted the situation but she didn’t have further information.
She said the Chinese government opposes racial discrimination in any form.
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