Cathay Pacific fires flight crewfor mocking passengers' English. Cathay Pacific Airways stated that it dismissed three flight attendants after a passenger accused them of discriminating towards non-English speakers.
This led to condemnation from Chinese official media as well as a promise from the leader of Hong Kong that this would not happen again.
Cathay stated that the experience that passengers on board aircraft CX987 had while traveling from the city of Chengdu in south-western China to Hong Kong on Sunday created "widespread concern" and that the airline sincerely apologized to those customers.
After an internal inquiry, the airline's chief executive Ronald Lam stated that the company fired three flight attendants who were engaged. He said:
I would like to reiterate that Cathay Pacific takes a zero-tolerance approach to serious violations of company rules and ethics by individual employees and will not tolerate them- Ronald Lam
In addition, he stated that he would be leading an interdepartmental working group that would perform an in-depth examination of the service's procedures, staff training, and associated systems in order to improve the quality of the service.
Most importantly, we must ensure that all Cathay Pacific staff respect passengers from different backgrounds and cultures and provide professional and consistent service in all areas served,- Ronald Lam
said Mr Lam.
In a post on the Chinese social media site Xiaohongshu, a passenger on the journey from Chengdu to the global financial capital reported that flight attendants grumbled among themselves about passengers in English and Cantonese. The post was written by the passenger.
According to what was said in the article, the flight attendants made fun of passengers who asked for a carpet rather than a blanket in English.
If you cannot say blanket in English, you cannot have it. Carpet is on the floor. Feel free if you want to lie on it- Flight attendant
said a flight attendant, according to a recording that was circulated widely online.
The fact that Reuters was unable to verify the clip's authenticity led to widespread criticism on various social media platforms. The passenger who tweeted the tape also said that executives from Cathay had phoned her to inquire further about what occurred on the trip.
As it recovers from the Covid-19 outbreak, Hong Kong's flagship airline has been working to reestablish the company's operations. It was severely impacted by cancellations of flights, closures of borders, and tight quarantine procedures for personnel, which resulted in significant staff cutbacks since 2020.
On Wednesday, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, John Lee, stated that the discriminating event was a severe matter that must never occur again.
The words and deeds of the flight attendants hurt the feelings of compatriots in Hong Kong and the mainland and destroyed Hong Kong’s traditional culture and values of respect and courtesy,- John Lee
he said, according to a post on his Facebook page.
In an online editorial, China's state-owned People's Daily expressed dismay at the event against Mandarin-speaking passengers and chastised Cathay's corporate culture for "worshipping foreigners and respecting Hong Kong people" while looking down on Chinese mainlanders.
Cathay Pacific can’t just apologise every time, but should rectify heavily, establish rules and regulations, and stop the unhealthy trend from the root.- People's Daily
The publication said that in Hong Kong, the habit of worshiping English and dismissing Mandarin is certain to fade. The publication went on to state that Mandarin proficiency in Hong Kong is increasing "by leaps and bounds."