CA Slammed For ‘Blatantly Racist’ LON Travel Advice
Text in a CA inflight magazine has U.K. MPs frothing at the mouth. The offensive material was contained in a piece offering tips for visitors to LON.
An image of the text from CA’s monthly Wings of China magazine posted on social media prompted outrage after it warned pax that “precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people”.
The text, tweeted by Beijing-based producer Haze Fan of U.S. news channel CNBC, added: “We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling.”
Two MPs have urged Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the U.K., to apologize to their constituents.
Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing Southall where 39% of the population is Asian, wrote to Liu to complain about “blatant racism.” He said: “I am shocked and appalled that even today some people would see it as acceptable to write such blatantly untrue and racist statements. I have raised this issue with the Chinese ambassador, and requested that he ensures an apology is swiftly forthcoming from Air China, and the magazine is removed from circulation immediately. I will await their response, and if an appropriate one is not forthcoming I shall feel forced to question whether Air China is a fit company to operate in the U.K.”
Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting, which has one of the largest south Asian populations in LON, said: “I think it is offensive to all Londoners, not just the ethnic minorities mentioned.”
Speaking to the Evening Standard she said: “I am going to be writing to the Chinese ambassador to invite him to visit Tooting in London, where all races live side by side. Then they can see how we live and our wonderfully diverse community.”
CA has not commented.
Figures from VisitBritain show the number of trips to the U.K. from China rose by 46% last year to 270,000. Total expenditure from these visits was estimated at £586m and the average length of stay was 15 nights.
Your Open Jaw correspondent once had a job hosting Chinese businesspeople visiting YTO. On one occasion while walking on Yonge St., the Chinese group ran into traffic, nearly getting run over. When asked why they had bolted, the response was ‘black gang.’ “That’s not a black gang,” their host replied. “That’s a black family.”
For a little education, the group was taken for dinner at Jamaican restaurant The Real Jerk, where proprietors Ed and Lily greeted them like family. The Chinese group loved the jerk chicken and especially the oxtail stew.