An Air India flight heading to Heathrow Airport was forced to return to Delhi after a passenger reportedly started pulling an air hostess’s hair before brawling with other staff onboard. Flight AI 111 left Indira Gandhi International Airport destined for London at 6.35am local time. But it was soon forced to return to the runway in Delhi because of what was described by the airline as the “serious unruly behaviour of a passenger on board”.
The person began pulling the hair of one of the cabin crew just 15 minutes after the plane took off, according to The Hindustan Times, and also later got physical with other staff members.
The passenger received both verbal and written warnings, but still continued with “unruly behaviour including causing physical harm to two of the cabin crew members”, an Air India spokesman said.
The aircraft’s pilot made the decision to return to Delhi, where the passenger was “handed over to the security personnel upon landing”.
Crew members who came under attack from the passenger are receiving support from the airline company, which said “safety, security and dignity” on board its aircraft are of paramount importance.
The impacted flight heading to London Heathrow eventually took off nearly eight hours later at 2.24pm local time.
A spokesman for Air India said at the time: “Air India flight AI 111 scheduled to operate Delhi-London Heathrow on April 10, 2023 returned to Delhi shortly after departure due to the serious unruly behaviour of a passenger on board.
“Not heeding verbal and written warnings, the passenger continued with unruly behaviour including causing physical harm to two of the cabin crew members.
“The pilot in command decided to return to Delhi and the passenger was handed over to the security personnel upon landing.”
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The spokesman added: “An FIR [first information report] has also been lodged with the police. Safety, security and dignity of all on board is important to us at Air India.
“We are providing all possible support to the affected crew members. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers and have rescheduled the flight.”
Separately, tragedy struck a Jet2 flight from Tenerife to Manchester last week after a passenger on board experienced a medical emergency.
The LS756 flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Newquay, but the passenger unfortunately died, it was reported.
Jet2 confirmed the passenger on board sadly died and expressed gratitude towards both the crew and customers who offered aid during the emergency.
A spokesperson said: “Flight LS756 from Tenerife to Manchester diverted to Cornwall Airport Newquay yesterday evening, due to a customer requiring medical attention.
“Regrettably, we can confirm that the customer has sadly passed away. Our thoughts are with the customer’s family and friends at this very difficult time.
“We would like to express our thanks to our crew, as well as other customers who provided assistance onboard.”