• France's news in English

Air France pilot 'insults' Moroccan king

Dan MacGuill · 11 Feb 2013, 17:25

Published: 11 Feb 2013 17:25 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The pilot of an Air France flight from Morocco to France last December has found himself at the centre of a furore after making a jokey comment that the north African country’s king was to blame for a delay to the flight.

While awaiting take-off, the captain of Air France flight 2497 from Casablanca to Paris took to the intercom to explain that a 20-minute delay in departure was due to the presence of  King Mohammed's personal jet on the runway.

“[All complaints] can be addressed directly to King Mohammed VI, Royal Palace, Rabat,” he informed the passengers, according to French TV channel TF1.

A group of passengers, calling themselves the AF2497 Collective, have taken umbrage against this reference to the Moroccan monarch, and a complaint has been lodged with a court in Paris.

In a letter to Air France chiefs the collective said the pilot's comments were an “attack on the dignity of the King of Morocco and all Moroccans and [amounted to] clearly discriminatory and racist insults.

Story continues below…

"The pilot neglected the security of the passengers by provoking their anger," the letter added.

For its part, Air France has expressed its regret for what it called an ‘isolated incident’ and said the pilot has been sanctioned. The case will be heard at an emergency proceeding in Paris on February 25th, according to French radio RTL.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2013-02-12 02:58:23 by Eric
Charges of racism are getting so old. Most of the time it's just a way to hide the accuser's own racism and hate for caucasians.
2013-04-11 09:44:59 by marinepro2
Air France should be ashamed of its corporate self for censuring the pilot and apologize to him for not suppporting him.
The "AF2497 Collective" should be put on a no-fly list and told to henceforth do their traveling on camels.
The king of Morocco should be told not to put his jet in places where it might impede honest people who work for a living from going about their business.
Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available