Emirates has weighed into the United Airlines ‘passenger removal’ fiasco by trolling the US carrier with a hard-hitting 35-second video that ends with the message, "Fly the friendly skies... this time for real".
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz apologised for the third time yesterday following a flood of public outrage over a passenger being physically removed from a flight in Chicago.
Following a torrent of criticism of the carrier's actions on a Sunday flight and its initial explanations, Munoz promised a thorough review of the airline's practices.
In images now seen worldwide, a passenger was forcefully removed and bloodied in the process -- the entire event captured on video by passengers and posted on social media.
Passenger David Dao, 69, had refused to be "bumped" from the overbooked flight -- an airline practice that has now come under increased scrutiny.
“I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologise to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard," CEO Oscar Munoz said.
“We take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.”
US media published an email Munoz sent earlier to employees, in which he said the passenger "defied" authorities and "compounded" the incident.
Dubai carrier Emirates, which along with Etihad and Qatar Airways, has been dragged into a dispute over its growth into the US market, took the opportunity to remind Munoz of one of his inflammatory comments.
Speaking to reporters at the recent US Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit in March, Munoz said, “Those [Gulf] airlines aren’t airlines. They’re international branding vehicles for their countries.”
Posted on its social media channels, Emirates posted a video with the line: “Fly the friendly skies with a real airline.”
The advert opens with first line of Munoz’s quote and then points to the recent TripAdvisor award for being the ‘Best Airline in the world’.
“Not only are we a real airline … we are the best airline,” the message says.
Royal Jordanian, another airline affected by the US electronics ban, also rowed into the fiasco with its own social media post. Referring to the manner in which the passenger was removed from the aircraft, the Amman-based carrier said, “We are here to keep you #united Dragging is strictly prohibited.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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