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Sun 21 Jun 2015 11:29 AM

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Passenger strapped to seat after mid-air assault on Abu Dhabi flight

Man in his 20s hit flight attendant after he wasn’t allowed to smoke

Passenger strapped to seat after mid-air assault on Abu Dhabi flight
Image for illustrative purposes only.

A passenger on a flight from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne had to be strapped to his seat after he attacked an attendant because he wasn’t allowed to smoke.

The Brisbane Times reported that the passenger had to be restrained by fellow passengers on board the Etihad Airways flight EY460 following his attack on the female flight attendant.

“There was a lot of screaming, shouting and it was terrifying. There were about six or seven men who held him down and then the crew supplied cable ties to tie him to a seat in the last row,” a Melbourne woman, returning from holidays in England, told the newspaper.

The mid-air drama happened about seven hours into the 13-hour flight and after the situation was quickly under control, the pilot decided against making an emergency landing.

A spokesperson for Etihad Airways told the Daily Mail: “We can confirm that a male passenger was physically restrained on board flight EY460 from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne on Wednesday (June 17).

“This was necessary because the passenger had assaulted a crew member and a fellow passenger when told by the cabin crew member that he could not smoke inflight. The male was restrained by cabin crew with the assistance of other passengers.

“With the male passenger restrained and no longer a threat, a decision was by made by the pilot, in consultation with cabin crew and the airline's security team, to continue the flight to Melbourne. On arrival, Australian Federal Police officers attended and assisted.

“Etihad Airways apologises to the passengers on board the flight for any distress the incident might have caused. The safety of Etihad Airways' passengers, staff and assets is the airline's number one priority.”

The man, believed to be in his 20s, was arrested by Australian Federal Police man at Tullamarine Airport.

Red Snappa 4 years ago

Interested to find out the nationality of the aggressor, obviously not a frequent flyer. I can remember people smoking without any intervention from the cabin crew on a little known Russian airline flying from Sharjah to Krasnodar around 2007, but never on a major airline, surely everybody is used to and accepts the inflight smoking-ban now.