Singapore Airlines has sent an apology to passengers after a Singaporean man claimed he was “scared” when he saw an aircraft being escorted by Chinese authorities to his home in Shanghai.
The Singaporean, who was in the airport for a planned vacation to Beijing, said that when he asked a stewardess why he was being escorted to the airport, the woman told him to get a new passport or he would be “scaring the hell out of them”.
Mr Wang, who had flown from Hong Kong to Singapore last week, said he was told that the airline would not allow his luggage to be confiscated or searched as he was in China.
The Singapore Airlines statement said it was “extremely disappointed” to hear that Mr Wang was being detained in China after he had travelled to China to attend a conference.
“We deeply regret that a passenger, who we were assured would be treated with respect, was subjected to a security check, including a pat-down, at the airport,” the airline said.
Mr Wang said he had received “so many messages” from people around the world saying he was a “traitor” for speaking out about the matter.
He said he received the apology on Sunday and is “pleased to have my concerns been addressed”.
“I feel it is important that people know that the Singapore Airlines family is committed to working with our Singaporean colleagues in the region to ensure our safety and well-being,” he said.
“We also encourage our Singaporeans to speak out in support of the Singaporean people and stand up for our rights.”
The airline has not issued a formal apology to Mr Wang.
It added that it had conducted an internal investigation and apologised to Mr Wright and his family.
Last month, Mr Wright was detained at a Chinese airport in Beijing after travelling with his mother and his wife, who also lives in the country, as they attempted to board a plane to Taiwan.
China has long been criticised for its treatment of foreign tourists, especially in the case of Taiwanese travellers.
In 2013, Mr Wang’s family filed a complaint with Singapore’s Immigration Department alleging he had been subjected to “unnecessary” searches, which the department did not investigate.
But the Singapore Government has said that Mr Wright, who works for the government, was denied a visa to travel to Taiwan in 2012 because of “misleading” information.
Singapore has also imposed a $500 fine on Mr Wright’s family and has launched an investigation into whether he breached visa conditions and failed to provide his documents.