Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways said it fired three cabin crew members after a passenger accused them of discriminating against non-English speakers on a flight.

The unfortunate incident took place on a flight from the southwestern city of Chengdu in China to Hong Kong on Sunday. An audio clip of the incident went viral on social media in which a crew members appeared to be denying a blanket to the passengers over lack of English.

The crew member can be heard saying, "If you can't say blanket in English, you cannot have it. Carpet is on the floor."

Several officials from Hong Kong and China raised concerns over the incident, pressurizing the airline to take action, CNN reported.

The unidentified passenger took to social media to recount the incident, noting some crew members were disrespectful to a number of people onboard the flight, who did not speak English or Cantonese.

"During the whole flight, not a moment went by when I was not distressed or angry," the passenger wrote, according to Associated Press.

Crew members particularly mocked passengers who used the term "carpet" instead of "blanket" in English, the post added. They also seemed impatient when a passenger was attempting to speak in English.

The identities of the crew members were not revealed.

Responding to the incident, Cathay Pacific Airways CEO Ronald Lam issued an apology to the passenger and the community.

"There is no compromise for such violations," he said in a statement Monday, reiterating the company's "zero tolerance" of such breach of code of conduct.

He added he will personally lead a task force to improve the service quality and ensure similar incidents don't happen in the future.

"We need to ensure that all Cathay Pacific employees must at all times respect customers from different backgrounds and cultures, and that we provide quality services consistently across all markets that we serve," Lam added.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee on Wednesday expressed disappointment upon learning about the "extremely outrageous" event that hampered the relationship between Hong Kong and residents of mainland China.

"The words and deeds of the flight attendants hurt the feelings of compatriots in Hong Kong and the mainland and destroyed Hong Kong's traditional culture and values of respect and courtesy," he said, as per Reuters. "I am outraged and disappointed by the fact these bad deeds happened on a Hong Kong flight."

This isn't the first time Cathy Pacific has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons in the eyes of China. In 2019, some Cathay staff participated in Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests, forcing the airline to cancel dozens of flights in opposition of the Chinese government. At the time, Beijing responded by denying permission to the Cathay flights crewed by those who had participated in the protests to enter China's airspace. Cathay also faced backlash online after China's state-run press made hastage #BoycottCathayPacific viral on Chinese social media.

This also comes at a time when the Hong Kong carrier is attempting to recover from the pandemic restrictions and border closures of 2020.

Considering this, the airline will not be able to bear the consequences of China's anger.

"Cathay relies heavily on China, which is a key market for the company both for inbound travel to Hong Kong, as well as transit traffic to Cathay's broader network," industry expert Greg Waldron told BBC.

Flight LA2213 is seen after it collided with a fire fighting vehicle at the Jorge Chavez International Ariport in Lima on November 18, 2022