SINGAPORE: Airbus has apologised after some Chinese visitors claimed they were stopped from viewing a German military plane during the Singapore Airshow over the weekend, when the event was open to the public. 

In posts that have since gone viral on Chinese social media, some visitors complained on Weibo that they were turned away from an Airbus A400M transport aircraft belonging to the German air force. 

They also claimed that Russian visitors were also denied access. 

According to Airbus, the A400M is its “most advanced, proven and certified airlifter available”. The aircraft has both tactical airlift – transportation of personnel and goods into theatres of operation – and strategic airlift – transportation of assets like outsized and heavy vehicles or equipment – capabilities. 

The European Commission said last month it had put forward several proposals to bolster the European Union’s economic security, including understanding how “advanced technologies can be used to enhance military capacities of actors who may use these against the EU”.

One Weibo user wrote on Saturday (Feb 24) that he was turned away after queuing up to view the aircraft, with staff checking the nationalities of visitors who looked Chinese.

Chinese visitors were allegedly singled out, with staff apparently saying “Chinese go out” to those in the queue, he added.

In a video making its rounds on Weibo, a person wearing an Airbus lanyard can be heard asking a Chinese blogger for his nationality as he is visiting a “German aircraft”.

After the blogger said he was from China, the staff said that “it is not possible” for him to enter the plane due to “military restrictions”. 


Airbus said on its official Weibo account on Sunday that it rectified the visit process once the matter was brought to its attention.

“We noticed that during the public opening day of the Singapore Airshow, some visitors had questions about the visit of an A400M military transport aircraft,” the European aircraft manufacturer said.

“After learning about this situation, we immediately communicated and coordinated with relevant parties, promptly improved the visit process, and ensured that the aircraft was open to all visitors. We deeply regret the inconvenience caused by previous on-site work and thank everyone for your continued attention and feedback.” 

Airbus also stressed that it is “committed to becoming a trustworthy, long-term partner of the Chinese aviation industry”.


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