SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the national flag carrier of the Netherlands, offered a public apology on Friday for not allowing South Korean passengers to use an on-board toilet due to concerns about the new coronavirus.
The incident occurred on a KLM flight to Incheon from Amsterdam on Feb. 10 (Amsterdam time) when a crew member posted a note written in Korean on the door to the restroom, which read "Lavatory For Crew Members Only."
Later, KML added the English version of the note after the note was pointed out by a passenger.
"This is a human mistake and we apologize for it," Guillaume Glass, general manager for Korea at KLM, said in a press conference at a Seoul hotel.
"We take the allegations that we have discriminated against a part of our passengers very seriously. We are deeply sorry that this was viewed as discrimination, which was absolutely not the intention of the crew."
The incident occurred amid global efforts to contain the deadly virus called COVID-19 following its first outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late December.
The new coronavirus has killed more than 1,480 in mainland China. It has reached over 20 countries, including South Korea and the United States.
In Korea, the virus has so far infected 28 people. Among them, seven patients have been released from hospitals after fully recovering from the virus, while the 21 others currently being treated at hospitals are in stable condition.