Allegations emerge of Chinese and Russian nationals denied access to Airbus military aircraft at Singapore Airshow

475

27th February 2024 – (Singapore) The Singapore Airshow, a hallmark event in the global aviation calendar, has been marred by allegations of nationality-based discrimination. Reports have emerged that Chinese and Russian visitors were denied access to a German military aircraft on display — a move stirring significant debate and eliciting an apology from Airbus.

On the first public day of the Airshow, 24th February, 2024, two Chinese nationals, including one who recounted his experience on the social media platform Weibo as @Plan_DDG172, claimed they were prevented from boarding the Airbus A400M, a military transport plane showcased by the German Air Force. According to the account, the visitor encountered unexpected checks specifically targeting individuals of East Asian descent.

Upon presenting his Chinese passport, @Plan_DDG172 was reportedly informed that Chinese visitors were barred from entering the aircraft. His protests, citing the possession of a valid event ticket and the principle of equal treatment, were seemingly disregarded.

The situation escalated when the visitor claimed that, upon entering the aircraft amidst a lapse in oversight, he was confronted and forcibly removed by someone he identified as a German serviceman. This altercation allegedly resulted in a sprained ankle for the visitor, further adding to the gravity of the situation.

Another Weibo user, @Qianzhanqifei, supported these claims, indicating that the exclusion was not an isolated incident and extended to Russian visitors as well. This collective experience has cast a shadow over the event, igniting conversations on social media about the implications of such conduct on the global stage.

The allegations have prompted a response from Airbus, which extended an apology for any inconvenience and took steps to ensure open access to the aircraft for the remainder of the Airshow. However, the German Air Force and the Singapore Airshow organisers have yet to comment on the specifics of the incident.

The Bigger Picture