British Airways has suspended five pilots amid claims they sent each other racist and pornographic emails.
British Airways has launched an internal investigation after discovering messages where pilots used N-word slurs against an ethnic minority colleague.
The pilots also shared a photo of a man having sex with a chicken.
According to reports, the pilots are all part-time trade union representatives for the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA).
The Mail on Sunday has claimed to have seen the emails and has identified Captain Brendan O’Neal as one of those who sent racist messages.
“Brendan O’Neal has decided to step down from his position as executive president of Balpa with immediate effect,” said Brian Strutton, BALPA general secretary.
The leak was made by Boeing 777 Captain Manish Patel, 46, who quit as a union rep last year after he was allegedly sent racist messages.
He claims pilots called him “paki lad” and joked that he worked as a taxi driver or in a corner shop.
A British Airways spokesman said: “We are appalled to learn of this behaviour which does not reflect the values of our company.”