Air NZ apologizes over manual's Tongan drinking claims

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Wellington, March 22 (ANI): Air New Zealand has issued an apology for an old crew manual that made cultural assumptions and painted Tongans as people eager to guzzle free in-flight alcohol.

The 2008 manual asked the staff to keep an eye on Tongan passengers who, although "softly spoken" and "reserved people", could "drink the bar dry".

Tongan Advisory Council chairman Melino Maka said it was quite upsetting to see that the airline had viewed Tongans as "uncontrollable alcoholics".

The document, which was made public in the Sunday Star-Times, also profiled other people of other nationalities.

However, Air NZ said it had since been updated and no longer contained such suggestions.

"This section of the document was designed as a reference guide to ensure international cabin crew were familiar with the expectations of the diverse range of nationalities Air New ealand carries on its international services," Stuff.co.nz quoted Air NZ spokesman Alan Gaskin, as saying. (ANI)

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