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Five British Airways pilots suspended over racist emails

TAKING ACTION: British Airways has suspended five pilots after it was notified of their involvement in the sending of racist and pornographic messages

BRITISH AIRWAYS has suspended five pilots after they were found to have shared racist emails.

The airline took the action after launching an investigation prompted by discoveries made by The Mail on Sunday.

Manish Patel, a Boeing 777 captain, claims colleagues sent him emails containing racist remarks, The Mail on Sunday reported.

Patel alleges he was called “P*** lad” and “chai wallah” and offensive comments about him working in a corner shop or as a taxi driver were made.

The 46-year-old is understood to have admitted to taking part in sending some offensive messages but claims he only did so to fit in.

In messages seen by The Mail on Sunday that were sent by Captain Brendan O’Neal, a senior British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) official, the n-word is used.

In one message in relation to a Christmas pub lunch, Captain O’Neal asked: “What food you want n****?”

O’Neal, who has now stepped down from his position as the president of the union after the messages came to light, said: “I accept these emails, while sent some time ago, were ill-judged and unprofessional.”

He is reportedly one of five pilots who have been suspended by British Airways.

As well as using the racist slur on multiple occasions, images of actors in blackface from the 1970s Black and White Minstrel show were also shared via email.

The Mail on Sunday reported that the images were accompanied with the words: “Ahh. The Black And White Minstrel Show. Wouldn’t be able to get away with that these days…”

In addition to the racist remarks, Russell Williams, a British Airways training captain also sent a pornographic image of a man having sex with a chicken, The Mail on Sunday reported.

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