Ryanair has issued a statement responding to a video of a racist incident that took place on one of its aircraft a full week after the event.
The airline refused to name the two passengers involved in the incident, due to data protection issues and added it does not wish to compromise the investigation currently under way with Essex and Barcelona police forces.
The release was sent on the same day that 70-year-old David Mesher from Birmingham appeared on Good Morning Britain, during which time he denied being a racist despite the outburst in which he used racist language and which was filmed by another passenger.
He also apologised to 77-year-old Delsie Gayle, who was moved by Ryanair cabin crew from her seat to one "adjacent" to her daughter who was travelling with her, admitting he had lost his temper after she appeared not to move quickly enough as she was sat between him and his window seat.
However, Gayle, who was appearing on the show with her daughter Carole said it would take a long time to accept the apology.
In its statement the airline said it only became aware of the video late on Saturday October 20 then "immediately" reported the incident to the police the next day at 9am, as well as providing a copy of the video footage
The airline added while Spanish cabin crew had been aware of the argument at the time, they were only shown the video including the racist language after landing.
This is why they initially followed the company procedure of only separating the pair and moving the woman "at her request". Both Mesher and Gayle then verbally confirmed they were okay to staff.
The statement said: "As far as the cabin crew were concerned, that was the end of the matter, and since there was no threat to aircraft safety, the issue of offloading one passenger did not arise.
"The captain was not informed of any argument between the two passengers, and nor were airport security in Barcelona alerted, because as far as the cabin crew were concerned, the verbal argument had been defused."
The statement added they contacted the female passenger, Gayle, at 11am on the Sunday by email and letter to apologise for the event and invited her to contact the airline should she wish to discuss it further.
Copies of both the letter and email, sent at 11.19am, were attached to the Ryanair statement.
The airline added it would be happy to answer further questions and queries once the police have concluded their enquiries.
Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely said: “We again extend our very sincere apologies to this passenger for the regrettable, and unacceptable remarks that were made to her by an adjacent passenger, and we believe that by reporting this matter immediately to the Essex Police and by apologising in writing to this customer early on Sunday morning, Ryanair treated it with the urgency and seriousness it warranted.
"We trust that this statement will address the inaccurate media coverage of this incident over recent days, and that the legal rights of both passengers will be respected, while the police services in Essex and Barcelona conduct their investigation of this matter, with Ryanair’s full cooperation and assistance.”