Airbus says sorry for banning Chinese attendees' visits at Singapore Airshow, pledges to optimize procedure
Published: Feb 26, 2024 12:39 AM
A staff member talks with visitors at the Singapore Airshow Photo: Weibo user @PLAN_DOG172

A staff member talks with visitors at the Singapore Airshow Photo: Weibo user @PLAN_DOG172

France-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus said on Sunday night it was sorry about an incident at the Singapore Airshow, as some Chinese visitors said that they were banned from visiting an A400M transport aircraft.

"We are aware that during the Public Day of the 2024 Singapore Airshow, some visitors raised questions about access to an A400M transport aircraft. We immediately communicated and coordinated with the customer and our Airbus teams at the show to ensure that the aircraft was open to all visitors for the remainder of the airshow," Airbus said in a statement to the Global Times.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused," Airbus added.

Airbus told the Global Times that Chinese visitors could board and visit the aircraft freely from Saturday afternoon.

The remark was made via Airbus' official account on Chinese Sina Weibo, an X-like social media, in regard to some netizens saying that an Airbus-built military transport plane affiliated with the German air force was displayed at the Singapore Airshow and Chinese attendees were banned pay on-board visits.

A Chinese netizen named "Qianzhan Qifei" posted on Sina Weibo on Saturday that stationed in front of the A400M transport plane were soldiers from the German army and Airbus staff. They asked the passengers who were queuing up for the tour about their nationality and said that "Chinese and Russian nationals are not allowed to board the plane."

Another Sina Weibo user named "PLAN-DDG172" also posted about a similar situation, and said the German soldiers on board physically attacked him. He sent a letter of complaint to the organizer of the Singapore Airshow.

The Chinese netizen named "Qianzhan Qifei" said that he captured footage of Airbus staff violently driving him away in front of the camera.

There was also a video clip that went viral on WeChat, which was about an attendee asking the staff member whether Chinese nationals could go on board the aircraft, and the staff member said no.

A Sina Weibo user named "Tianhuile Qing Biyan 128" said the move made Chinese aviation fans feel regret and disgust.

Some netizens commented under the video clips that orders for the Airbus aircraft should be canceled and China should instead foster homegrown aircraft.

Two C919 and three ARJ 21 jets, which were developed by Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), debuted at the Singapore Airshow.

Chinese experts said that the large-scale participation showcased China's strong confidence in its commercial aircraft. China is able to manufacture and start the market operation of domestic commercial aircraft.

A total of four C919 jets have been delivered and safely carried more than 110,000 passengers since the plane made its maiden commercial flight on May 28, 2023. Mass production and the development of the series are both going smoothly, per the COMAC statement.

Chinese experts also said that this year will be a key period to speed up mass production and deliveries of the C919, and for COMAC to integrate the industry, supply and innovation chains for the airliner while expanding in the overseas market.

Airbus has always been committed to being a long-term reliable partner of the Chinese aviation industry, the company said in a statement to the Global Times, adding that its expanding industrial footprint around the country fully demonstrates its respect and commitment to China.

"We commit to win-win cooperation with China's aviation industry and will continue to work with its Chinese partners to promote the high-quality development of China's aviation industry, meanwhile setting a role model for economic and trade exchanges between China and Europe while building bridges of communication between the two sides," it noted.

Global Times