A drunken British passenger forced a plane headed for Tenerife to make an emergency landing after the pilot pleaded for help from ‘cops or soldiers.’
The incident happened on board a flight run by Dutch budget airline Transavia from Eindhoven in the Netherlands to Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands on New Year’s Day.
One passenger on the flight, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘He was shouting ‘b*tch’ and was behaving in a boisterous way.’
According to a Transavia spokeswoman, the unnamed man behaved increasingly aggressively towards other passengers and crew members once on the aeroplane.
The spokeswoman said that the crew had increasing difficulties to keep the man in check during the flight and were even forced to enlist the help of other passengers.
During the flight the captain is said to have announced they were looking for ‘firefighters, cops or soldiers on board or other passengers willing to assist my colleagues in restraining this passenger’.
Some passengers reportedly volunteered and helped the crew to restrain the man on the floor of the aeroplane.
A passenger who witnessed the tussle said: ‘He was pushed forward and overpowered by crew members and passengers, secured with cable ties and laid on the ground.’
Because the safety of the crew and passengers was jeopardised, the pilots decided to make an emergency landing at the airport of Faro in Southern Portugal.
The drunk man was reportedly taken off the aeroplane by Portuguese cops to loud cheers and clapping from the rest of the passengers.
A Transavia spokeswoman said: ‘Afterwards, the aircraft continued its journey to Tenerife.’
The spokeswoman said that it was ‘very bothersome’ and confirmed that it required the help of passengers to restrain the unruly Brit, but added that the airline was happy that it all ended well.
The spokeswoman said: ‘First and foremost: violence on board is never okay.’