SINGAPORE — Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has issued an apology after one of its staff members was seen on video allegedly barring a Chinese visitors from boarding and viewing the A400M military aircraft at the Singapore Airshow on Saturday (Feb 24).

The A400M, which is a German military transport aircraft owned by the German Air Force, was exhibited at the Changi Exhibition Centre over the weekend along with several other aircrafts. 

In a widely circulated video filmed by a Chinese blogger, a female staff member wearing an Airbus lanyard is seen stopping a man from queuing up to board the plane before asking him for his nationality.

The staff member then tells the man that she “needs to know (his) nationality because it is a German aircraft”.

After he responds that he is of Chinese nationality, she refuses him entry and says that it was “not possible” for him to view the plane because of “German rules, it’s military restrictions”.

In response to TODAY’s queries on Tuesday, Airbus said that it was aware of the incident when visitors had “raised questions about access to an A400M transport aircraft” exhibited at the show.

“We immediately fixed the issue to ensure that the aircraft was open to all visitors. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused,” Airbus added in a statement on Tuesday.

Several other Chinese visitors to the airshow also posted about their similar experiences of allegedly being refused entry to the aircraft on Chinese social media platform Weibo and Douyin.

In one post on Douyin, a user claimed that Russian nationals were also not allowed to board and tour the A400M aircraft. The user also claimed to have witnessed at least five Chinese visitors being barred from boarding the military plane.

Another visitor to the Airshow wrote on Weibo that Airbus staff members allegedly told them “Chinese go out” before chasing them off the aircraft.

TODAY has reached out to the organisers of the Singapore Airshow for comment but the queries were redirected to Airbus as “access and criteria for access into the aircraft are fully under the control of the exhibitor”.

Held from Feb 20 to 25, the Singapore Airshow is Asia’s largest aviation event, with this year’s show attracting more than 30,000 visitors on the first day of the public event on Feb 24. The first four days of the show were reserved for trade and military delegations.

Visitors had the chance to witness aerial displays and view aircraft from different countries, including the C919, China’s first homegrown large passenger jet manufactured by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac).


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