Air China’s in-flight magazine urges readers to take precautions when “entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people” in London.
China’s flag carrier, Air China, was forced to apologise for offering racist travel advice to its passengers visiting London, UK. The in-flight magazine, “Wings of China”, warned that “London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people. We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling.”
— Haze Fan (@journohaze) 6 September 2016
Two London MPs said they would seek answers from the Chinese Ambassador to the UK. London is regarded as one of the most diverse cities in the world. According to the latest UK census, “white British” account for less than 50% of the population.
The airline was quick to distance themselves from the magazine. The “Wings of China” office released a statement saying they will immediately withdraw all the publications and “carefully learn [from] this lesson, [and] improve our management to make sure there will be no more similar mistakes.” On Thursday, Air China also released a statement, in which they did not apologise, but said the advice was “inappropriate.”
This is not the first time Air China has been involved in a racial controversy. Earlier this year, another in-flight magazine article, titled ‘Every Swede Wants a Log Cabin’, said that previously, “Sweden was considered as a country of farmers and pirates. Now, Sweden is one of the world’s happiest countries.”
Away from aviation, Chinese detergent company, “Qiaobi Laundry Gell Balls”, caused outrage when an advertisement showed a black man being transformed by the power of soap into a clean-cut Asian man (see video below).