Virgin Atlantic had denied accusations of racism after a man named Max Kpakio claimed he was turned down for a job only to be offered an interview when he reapplied as Craig Owen.

University graduate Kpakio is taking the airline to employment tribunal, claiming it racially discriminated against him over his African name.

Kpakio was born in Liberia but has lived in the UK for 10 years, and applied to work at a call centre in Swansea. He was unsuccessful at the first stage of the process.

He claims that when he reapplied under name of Craig Owen, with a less detailed CV, he was immediately invited for an interview.

He claims the company repeatedly contacted him in the hope he would attend the interview, the Daily Telegraph reported. His case for alleged racial discrimination is due to be heard by an employment tribunal in April.

A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said: “We are an equal opportunities employer. We pride ourselves on providing opportunities to talented people regardless of their race, sex, age or other characteristic.

“We take allegations of discrimination extremely seriously. Whilst we do not comment on individual cases, we strongly deny any of our recruitment decisions or practices are discriminatory in any way.”