Cathay Pacific fires 3 crewmembers following discrimination allegation

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways says it has dismissed three flight attendants accused of discrimination against non-English speakers.

The accusation was made online against the crewmembers of the airline's flight from the Chinese city of Chengdu to Hong Kong on Sunday.

Hong Kong media say they made fun of a passenger who mixed up the English terms "carpet" and "blanket." In what appears to be a recording from the flight that circulated widely online, someone says, "If you cannot say 'blanket' in English, you cannot have it."

The post went viral, drawing accusations of discrimination against Chinese speakers.

Cathay Pacific CEO Ronald Lam said on Wednesday that the airline had fired the three, and extended his "sincerest apologies." He said he would conduct a comprehensive review of services and staff training, and vowed to enhance the airline's service.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said on Wednesday that he was disappointed to learn about the incident and urged the airline to prevent a recurrence.