herald

Monday 10 December 2018

Rowing passengers force airline crew to abandon take-off

AN AER LINGUS plane was forced to abort its take-off after two passengers became involed in an 'air rage' incident.

The flight to Bulgaria on Saturday night had to return to the terminal building after the passengers became unruly, forcing a delay.

The passengers are understood to have become disruptive just as the Aer Lingus Airbus A320 was about to depart for Bourgas.

The aircraft, which was full, returned to its "stand" at the airport as the captain informed air traffic control of the situation.

The two -- and their baggage -- were taken off as airport police met the Airbus.

An Aer Lingus spokesperson would only confirm: "There was an incident on a flight to Bourgas. The aircraft hadn't taken off from Dublin and was taxiing at the time. "

"It returned to its stand and two passengers were off-loaded from the flight."

The matter was now in the hands of the authorities, she said.

The plane was due to depart at 3pm but eventually left at 5pm for the four hour flight to Bourgas.

incident

The spokesperson said however that while the incident added some time, the two hour delay was due to the late arrival of an earlier flight and a "knock on" effect on the Bourgas flight.

The plane eventually landed in Bourgas at 9pm where passengers for the flight back to Dublin had been waiting for some time. The captain of the Airbus and the crew filed a report after the flight with the airline.

Aer Lingus announced earlier this year that it would be flying twice a week to Bourgas.

Bourgas Airport is in close proximity to major tourist resorts on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

Recently, Bulgaria has become an increasingly attractive destination with Irish tourist and property investors alike.

The incident was the latest in a series of so called "air rage" incidents involving both Irish passengers and aircraft.

In Shannon last winter, three flights in one day were diverted to Shannon while gardai dealt with disruptive passengers.

Earlier this month a Dublin family claimed it had been banned from an airline for life following an alleged air rage incident.

Members of the family were accused of verbally abusing cabin crew on the Monarch flight to Gran Canaria.

They were also accused of smoking and taking drugs.

The airline refused to fly the family home from their holiday a week later.

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