British Airways suspends five pilots over sordid e-mails including ‘N-word slurs’ and ‘image of man having sex with chicken’

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BRITISH AIRWAYS has suspended five pilots amid allegations they sent each other racist emails and pornographic images.

The airline launched an internal investigation after being handed a cache of damming emails – including messages where a BA captain used N-word slurs against an ethnic minority colleague.

British Airways
The airline launched an internal investigation after being handed a cache of damming emails
PA:Press Association

According to the Mail On Sunday, another pilot sent a photo of a man having sex with a chicken, with others nostalgically discussing the BBC’s controversial Black and White Minstrel Show.

The allegations – which centre on BA pilots who moonlighted as Union officials – came to light in an employment tribunal claim against the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa).

One pilot said: “Being a union rep is a very alpha-male, testosterone-driven, locker-room-type role.”

The claim was made by Boeing 777 Captain Manish Patel, 46, who quit as a union rep last year.

He claims pilots called him “p*ki lad” and joked that he worked as a taxi driver or in a corner shop.

One September 2012 email reveals Captain Brendan O’Neal asked Patel “U on skype n****?”.

O’Neal – who trains other pilots – repeated the slur in July 2012.


Another email – sent by training captain Russell Williams – shows a man having sex with a chicken, captioned: “It’s Friday. S*** some birds this weekend.”

When approached by the MoS, Williams said: “I accept these emails, while sent some time ago, were ill-judged and unprofessional.”

A BA spokesman said: “We are appalled to learn of this behaviour which does not reflect the values of our company.”


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