Virgin Atlantic said today it was investigating an alleged incident on a recent flight from London to Shanghai when a Chinese woman said she was abused by a fellow passenger.
In a blog post that has since gone viral, the woman said that a Caucasian male passenger on Virgin flight VS250 on March 1 had told her:"You f*****g Chinese pig! Get the f*** out of here!"
Shocked, she then responded by asking him: "What did you say to me?" However, instead of apologising, the man allegedly raised his fist and continued to hurl vulgarities.
She claims that when she got up to seek help from flight crew, a steward ignored her complaints.
News of her experience has gone viral on social media in China.
The airline has since said the company will not "comment further until we have resolved the issue with our customer directly."
In a statement passed to China Daily by spokesman Jason Betts, Virgin Atlantic said, "We are aware of an issue on a recent flight and would like to reassure the customer that we are taking her claims seriously and are fully investigating the circumstances. The safety and wellbeing of our passengers is always our priority, and we will continue to speak directly with the customer to ensure the situation is resolved."
In a later statement, provided by spokeswoman Louise Holding, Virgin Atlantic said, "we are aware of the concern around the alleged incident on flight VS250. We are a multinational company with zero tolerance of racism."
The carrier declined to provide any further details, adding "this is an ongoing investigation."
By late Thursday Beijing time, over 5 million users had read about the issue on the Chinese social media site Weibo, which is similar to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook.