Air China Issues Multiple Apologies After Urging Travelers to Stay Out of Black Areas in London

Air China Boeing 747 in flight (Wikipedia)

Air China Boeing 747 in flight (Wikipedia)

Air China is the subject of controversy after sharing a discriminatory message against visiting Black, Indians and Pakistani populated areas in London. The Chinese airline has now issued an apology for the warning – which some have called racist – blaming it on a “misinterpretation.”

Journalist Haze Fan initially spotted the entry Sept. 6 in a Wings of China article about London’s go-to spots. It was under the headline “Tips from Air China.”

“London is generally a safe place to travel,” the entry read. “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 traveling.”

Fan tweeted a photo of the passage and the magazine cover to various CNBC outlets and London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has Pakistani parents.

The image has since gained traction online, causing contention.

Parthepan dismissed the message as another reason not to fly with Air China.

Apoorv Joshi responded with an offensive message of his own.

Air China’s North American division responded with an apology on their Twitter account hours after the news broke, but it deleted it later, according to CNBC.


Wings of China issued a Chinese language statement to the news site, which was translated accordingly.

“This is at odds with our original purpose of promoting the beautiful scenery of London, further triggering misinterpretations among media and readers and creating significantly negative impact on your company’s operation and brand image,” the statement read in part. “The inappropriate expressions in the article are merely the mistakes made by the editors, but in no means represent the views of the magazine.”

The group also said it would “immediately withdraw all the publications” and improve management to prohibit similar mistakes.

“We also would love to send sincere apologies via Air China to all the readers and passengers who felt uncomfortable because of this,” it concluded.

Air China also issued a statement but without an apology. Instead, they insisted the words did not reflect the airline’s views.

“Air China always highly respects the cultures and traditions of people from different ethnicities in the world,” it noted.

This is the latest racial incident out of China.

A laundry detergent company sparked outrage over a commercial featuring a Black man thrown into a washer and emerging as Chinese.

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