Published on : Saturday, August 16, 2014
According to local media reports the two HIV positive men and a friend – who does not have HIV – were prevented from boarding a Spring Airlines plane at Shenyang airport. The three of have accused the airline of discrimination. A court in Shenyang admitted their case on Friday.
A report in the Fazhi Evening Paper stated the three men were preparing to board a flight to Shijiazhuang, which is south of Beijing, on 28 July when they were stopped by Spring officials.
One passenger told the paper: “After we got our boarding passes, we informed a Spring Airlines official that some of us had HIV.”
“The official immediately rang up the Shanghai head office for instructions, and then told us the company has rules forbidding the transportation of passengers with HIV.”
Rights groups say widespread stigmatisation of people with HIV and Aids still exists in China.
The airline’s president Wang Zhenghua said on Tuesday that the company did not discriminate against HIV carriers, and blamed the incident on staff anxiety, according to the AFP news agency.
But he also blamed the passengers, and said the firm would allow HIV-positive travellers to board their planes as long as they did not make themselves “overly noticeable” to avoid scaring other customers.
Later Spring Airlines’ website stated that it had the right to refuse passage to those with “infectious diseases”. However, an airline spokesman told Caixin that since the incident, the airline has not turned away any HIV-positive passengers.
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