Is Air Canada racist? Amnesty International Canada’s Ketty Nivyabandi wants apology

Ketty Nivyabandi, 44, is a Burundian poet and human rights defender living in exile in Canada. In May 2015, she fled Burundi after leading a series of peaceful protests amid a constitutional crisis in her home country.

In 2017, Nivyabandi became a media associate of the Nobel Women’s Initiative in Ottawa, Canada. In 2020, she was appointed as the secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.


On March 30, 2023, Air Canada staff allegedly denied Nivyabandi permission to board a flight from Ottawa to Mexico City, Mexico without justification. The staff is accused of treating her in a discriminatory and racist manner, humiliating her and preventing her from participating in a human rights conference.

According to Nivyabandi, the vice president of Air Canada has apologize to her. She said she demanded a public apology and a meeting with the chief executive officer of Canada’s flag carrier.


Founded in 1937, Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 222 destinations worldwide. It is headquartered in Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.

Michael Rousseau, 64, became the CEO of Air Canada in 2020. She joined the company in 2007 as the chief financial officer and became its deputy CEO in 2018.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.