Air China flight magazine 'warns tourists' about ethnic minority parts of London


A Chinese airline has been criticised after reportedly warning passengers that "precautions are needed" when entering ethnic minority areas of London.

Air China is said to have included the advice in its inflight magazine as part of a feature on visiting the city.

Beijing-based producer Haze Fan of US news channel CNBC posted an excerpt of the article on Twitter, which read: "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."

Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing Southall, has written to the Chinese ambassador to the UK demanding an apology for what he described as 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 have invited representatives of Air China to visit my constituency of Ealing Southall to see that a very multi-cultural area is safe, and would be of great value for those visiting London to see.

"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 UK."

The article was published in Air China's monthly Wings Of China magazine.

The airline is the country's flag carrier and has two flights per day from Beijing to London Heathrow.

It operates a total of 98 international routes.

The late father of London Mayor Sadiq Khan was an immigrant from Pakistan.

Figures from VisitBritain show the number of trips to the UK from China rose by 46% last year to 270,000.

Total expenditure from these visits was estimated at £586 million and the average length of stay was 15 nights.

Air China did not respond to a request for comment on the article.