Calls for Ryanair boycott grow as MP warns racially abusive passenger 'may get away with it' due to aviation laws
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Calls for Ryanair boycott grow as MP warns racially abusive passenger 'may get away with it' due to aviation laws

CALLS for a boycott of Ryanair are growing over the airline's alleged mishandling of a racially abusive incident onboard one of its planes.

Footage of a white man hurling racist abuse at an elderly black woman seated next to him on a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to London Stansted quickly went viral after the incident on Friday.

The man was caught on camera loudly ordering the woman to move away from him and making racist comments about her appearance and accent.

He called the Jamaican-born woman a "stupid, ugly cow" and an "ugly black bastard", and told her not to speak to him in a "foreign language" even though she was speaking English.

Cabin crew appeared to go along with the man's demand that the woman be moved to another seat, rather than challenge his behaviour or remove him from the jet.

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The Ryanair flight soon took off from Barcelona Airport, with the man apparently escaping any consequences.

The Irish airline tweeted on Sunday that it had reported the incident to Essex Police, but its handling of the episode is now the focus of intense criticism on social media.

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: "Ok boycott @Ryanair if they think it’s ok for a racist man to abuse an elderly black woman and remain on the plane.

"It’s 63 years since Rosa Parks said 'No' to sitting on the back of the Bus and we ain’t going back."

Fellow Labour MP Karl Turner wrote: "@Ryanair have failed spectacularly here.

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"Suspect the pressure to turn this aircraft around quickly and get it airborne meant that they have allowed this alleged offender to remain on the aircraft. He may now get away with it."

Mr Turner added that because Ryanair is an Irish company and the incident occurred on the ground in Spain, the man most likely could not be prosecuted in Britain.

He slammed the airline for not alerting the Spanish authorities while the plane was still on the tarmac.

"@Ryanair have ‘tolerated’ criminal behaviour," Mr Turner claimed on Twitter. "Police may now not be able to prosecute."

The passenger who recorded footage of the incident, David Lawrence, posted the video to Facebook - where it has been viewed millions of times and covered in world-leading publications such as The New York Times.

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The footage shows the woman's daughter defending her mother to the man before a member of cabin crew attempts to calm them down.

"Don’t tell me what to do," he answered. "If I tell her to get out, she gets out."

The elderly woman, who has arthritis, eventually got up to sit with her daughter as the flight attendant told the man he would speak with his supervisor.

It comes after it emerged on Monday that Ryanair's profits have fallen sharply in the wake of rising costs and flight cancellations.

CEO Michael O’Leary has admitted he is not necessarily optimistic about the months ahead, but claims rivals are in even worse shape.

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