View Full Version : Air France pilot 'insults' Moroccan king

28th Feb 2013, 20:01
Sounds like a completely harmless joke to me, blown out of all proportion.

Published: 11 Feb 2013 17:25 GMT+01:00 | Print version (http://www.thelocal.fr/page/view/air-france-pilot-in-trouble-for-joke-about-moroccan-king#.US_DGVeNOQI)
Updated: 11 Feb 2013 17:25 GMT+01:00

An Air France pilot’s attempt at a joke has outraged a group of passengers and landed the airline giant in court. Was it an innocent attempt to calm a group of frustrated fliers or the ‘racist and discriminatory’ mocking of a nation’s leader?

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 (http://lci.tf1.fr/france/justice/air-france-assignee-apres-une-blague-d-un-pilote-sur-le-roi-du-maroc-7818574.html).
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.
"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 (http://www.rtl.fr/actualites/info/article/air-france-assignee-pour-une-plaisanterie-sur-le-roi-du-maroc-7758048779)

28th Feb 2013, 20:33
Sounds to me that the King and some of his subjects feel SO insecure in his tenure that they think a simple throw-away comment like this might help oust him. Why else would they make SO much fuss.

With whats happened out there over the last few years, they may be right! :E

28th Feb 2013, 20:41
wow the outrage bus has been upgraded to an aircraft.

28th Feb 2013, 21:15
Early 90s, when a lot of Ozmates flew for Malaysian Airlines, Johore airport could present crews with a rather unique problem if the Sultan (the same one who beat his golf caddy to death with his putter because the caddy laughed when he missed a putt) chose to be using the airport. One Oz FO made the mistake of making a pretty tame comment over the radio saying how silly was this. (It was not unheard of for scheduled flights to return to KUL or divert to SIN after holding for as long as they could while the Sultan did circuits in his microlight.)

The FO was forced to hand deliver a written apology to the palace in Johore. (He's still out there, currently based in HKG, I think. If you read this, Ed, maybe you could give us the story first hand.)

1st Mar 2013, 00:07
Its best not to say nuthin' on the PA or radio that upsets the locals -

Viet Nam - telling a hopeless ATCer you should've shot his balls off in the 60s when you had the chance

Thailand - calling Yingluck's private jet Yumlick's private jet (or saying she deserves a nice pat on the head)

China - Anything negative in any way will piss them off no matter what it is. Free bowls of instant noodles from
the galley won't calm 'em down neither.

Malaysia - telling the pax of a delay and to feel free to have a beer and ham sandwich while waiting

Singapore - Referring to a government VIP aircraft arrival causing a delay as Harry's PAPsmear jet

Australia - PA'ing the flight's delayed waiting for illegal immigrants to board while they pick up their cheques and
free First Class tickets home

UK - saying the flight's delayed waiting for ragheads to finish banging their heads on the floor of the prayer room
in the terminal

Worrals in the wilds
1st Mar 2013, 00:47
Jeez Slasher, you missed your calling.
When you picked piloting as a career DFAT lost a true diplomatic star! :E:}

1st Mar 2013, 01:09
As we lawyers say: "De minimis non curat lex", roughly to be translated as "P*sh *ff!".

Its best not to say nuthin' on the PA or radio that upsets the locals -

Slasher, you may add that old one from India: "Goodness Gracious me! Not another day like last Tuesday!"

1st Mar 2013, 01:33
Well, the lesson learnt is pay attention to what you say on the PA...
We live in a weird world where group of peoples tend to react differently than when taken individually...
The (over) politically correct is the rule. More than ever.
People claim everywhere they are free but they give us daily the proof they live in a mental cage. Well, don't joke with this people.
I understand the whole think is clearly a stupid and useless farce, meanwhile I wouldn't even mention the name of the King/Prime minister/President/Queen/Chancellor... of any country over the PA for a joke or even anything else.

1st Mar 2013, 02:19
When the land that gave us Molière, de Noé, and Voltaire succumbs to political correctness, we are all in trouble.

owen meaney
1st Mar 2013, 04:54
CPL's should be examined on their sense of humour, 75% pass mark before added to your licence.
Slasher, I like your Plane of Outrage.

1st Mar 2013, 04:55
I think I may have insulted myself. What should I do? :uhoh:

1st Mar 2013, 05:31
So what were the "discriminatory and racist" parts of what the AF pilot said? :confused:

Solid Rust Twotter
1st Mar 2013, 06:05
Jed from ARCRugby calls us ugly meat eaters and Slasher's lot are referred to as convicts. Are we allowed to be offended?:}

Erwin Schroedinger
1st Mar 2013, 07:01
There's ingratitude for you. An Air France pilot avoids crashing in the sea in an unrecognised stall and all they can do is whinge. :rolleyes:

1st Mar 2013, 09:01
Well, lesson learned. Be careful what you say in certain countries. Clearly any negative comment about he King of Morocco is considered an insult. I doubt if there would be quite such a reaction if he was in Heathrow and made the same joke about the Queen. Although it wouldn't surprise me if someone contrived to be offended on her behalf.

I've never managed to insult anyone on board. But when flying skydivers, the Tandem Instructors tend to joke a lot. One of their best/worst was to call for a moment, to 'remember some friends who were lost on 9/11.' Then after a pause they would begin chanting 'Allahu Akbar.'

Worked particularly well when Americans were on board.

1st Mar 2013, 09:09
RJM, this comes under the heading of "self-abuse": a catholic priest may be able to assist you in this case

1st Mar 2013, 10:11
Was this the same Moroccan King who kept H.M. waiting for about forty minutes in the heat whilst on a state visit some years ago?