Air passengers confront crew over China diversion

Angry passengers from a flight by Australian budget airline Jetstar confronted the crew on the ground after their plane was diverted to China’s commercial hub Shanghai last week, a report said Tuesday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 30 Oct 2012, 7:09 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:30 PM

Passengers on the flight, which originated in Melbourne and was headed for Beijing via Singapore, “held hostage” the captain and crew for more than six hours on Friday, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

The Australian government confirmed an “incident” at Shanghai’s main international airport but said the captain confirmed that he and the crew were safe after the airline asked for assistance.

Shanghai’s airport operator and local police could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. The China office of Jetstar, the low-cost carrier of Qantas Airways, declined to comment.

The report said passengers protested after Jetstar staff told them of a delay until the weather allowed them to continue to Beijing, whose airport was shut due to fog.

The airline also needed to replace the crew, who had flown more than their permitted hours, it said. Some passengers were eventually put onto trains and other flights.

“The incident took place in the customs and immigration hall of the airport,” Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.

“The captain confirmed that he and his crew and passengers were safe.”

Internet postings by a woman who claimed to be on the flight said passengers were angry over poor service and lack of arrangements for their onward journeys.

“We arrived at the Shanghai airport at 2:00 in the morning and waited on the plane more than five hours. But there was still no solution,” said the woman, who posted in Chinese under the English name Fiona.

She also posted a photo which showed a crowd of people, presumably passengers, in the baggage claim area of Shanghai’s Pudong Airport.

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