A British Airways Boeing 747 comes in to land at Heathrow airport in London. File picture: Toby Melville/Reuters
A British Airways Boeing 747 comes in to land at Heathrow airport in London. File picture: Toby Melville/Reuters

'Dirty black P***': Steward sues after years of racial abuse at British Airways

By SAM GREENHILL CHIEF REPORTER Time of article published May 27, 2019

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London - A former British Airways first class steward is suing the airline, claiming he suffered years of racism.

Nick Singh alleges the company failed to deal properly with incidents including a BA pilot calling him ‘a dirty black P***’.

He also claims that, despite being born in England, he was told to ‘**** off back to your own country’ by a white steward.

The father of one, who is claiming racial discrimination at an employment tribunal, says he took his allegation that racism ‘is commonplace’ to senior managers including the chief executive, Alex Cruz.

Last week, Mr Cruz showed the Queen around BA’s headquarters near Heathrow airport, to celebrate the national flag carrier’s centenary. Mr Singh, 53, claims that last year he was offered £25,000 to leave BA and, when he did not accept, the airline sacked him. BA is understood to strenuously deny all his claims.

Yesterday he told the Daily Mail: ‘They sacked me four days before Christmas. They offered me money to settle, but I want the public know what has been going on. I am sick of it.’ Mr Singh alleges:

* Bosses did not take seriously his warnings about a ‘white-supremacist’ BA pilot who allegedly called him a ‘dirty black P***’;

* Mr Singh’s Audi car was vandalised in the BA crew car park with ‘P***’ scrawled across the bonnet;

* A white steward who told him to **** off back to your own country’ and called him a ‘dirty black P*** b******’ was forced to write an apology ‘on what looked like a crumpled piece of toilet paper’;

* One of his managers shared a social media post by the race-hate far-Right group Britain First, although she later insisted it was accidental.

Mr Singh’s decision to speak out comes after BA suspended five pilots for alleged racism earlier this year, following claims by a Boeing 777 captain, Manish Patel, that he had endured being called ‘P*** lad’ and ‘chai wallah’. All five have since been reinstated.

Mr Singh has been an air steward for three decades. He said that in 1990, he became Virgin Atlantic’s first British-Indian steward. He switched to BA in 1997.

But he was incensed last October when British Airways held a campaign to trumpet Black History Month. ‘I couldn’t believe it when they launched this campaign saying they are proud to celebrate ethnic minorities,’ he said.

‘I have been suffering shocking racist abuse for years and they never get a grip on it.’

In January last year, Mr Singh, of Hounslow, west London, wrote to Willie Walsh, boss of BA’s owner IAG, copying in Mr Cruz, to claim that racism ‘is commonplace in my experience’. Then he wrote to Amy James, head of worldwide cabin crew, alleging that his claims had not been properly resolved.

British Airways said it could not comment on the details of the case because of ongoing legal proceedings. But a spokesman said: ‘British Airways is a global company that operates to over 75 countries, and racism is not tolerated.

‘We encourage a diverse and inclusive culture, and expect all our colleagues to treat each other with dignity and respect.’

Daily Mail

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