TAIPEI, Taiwan - Hong Kong newspaper Sky Post yesterday published an article in which a Hong Kong Airlines flight attendant announced the start of a campaign on a social network platform, calling for all flight attendants of the airline to launch a language strike on July 1 in protest of recent frictions with mainland Chinese passengers.
Reportedly, the campaign ignited on Facebook, when a flight attendant who works for Hong Kong Airlines called for her colleagues to refrain from speaking Mandarin on July 1.
The campaign reportedly received over 1,000 Likes within two hours, and has been referred to as a strike in response to a protest from mainland Chinese passengers who occupied a company aircraft for close to 18 hours.
The newspaper said in the report that the incident began on Hong Kong Airlines flight HX234 bound for Shanghai from Hong Kong at 9 pm on June 20 that was delayed as a result of bad weather and air traffic regulations from China.
Unsatisfied with the delay and the amount of financial compensation which followed, over 70 Chinese passengers allegedly occupied the aircraft until the airline company made an apology with a higher offer of financial compensation.
The passengers left the plane in the afternoon of June 21, but not before further complaints against flight attendants for not providing them with food and water during the occupation.
Flight attendants respond to alleged mistreatment of passengers
According to the newspaper, a flight attendant who says she worked the shift on the plane in question had responded to Chinese passengers' accusations of mistreatment by sharing photos on social platform Instagram.
The photos allegedly depict the Chinese passengers taking food and items on board the grounded plane at will.
Other airline employees are reported to have displayed anger toward the airline's handling of the situation, with one flight attendant saying that as the delay was not the fault of the airline company, any financial compensation is unnecessary.
Several netizens have also reportedly left comments on the official Facebook page of Hong Kong Airlines, with a general consensus that the airline has not only lost their dignity but that it has encouraged the frequency of such practices.
The aircraft protest has been noted as one of the many disagreements between mainland Chinese and the people of Hong Kong in recent months. Each part of the country has publicly accused the other, and the row has recently expanded into media outlets in both.