Passenger causes 'emergency incident' on flight, forces aircraft to return to Sydney

The emergency caused dozens of domestic flight cancellations and delays at Australia's busiest airport

By AP

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Published: Mon 14 Aug 2023, 3:04 PM

An airline flight from Australia to Malaysia returned on Monday to Sydney, where a passenger was arrested hours later in what police described as an emergency incident.

The emergency caused dozens of domestic flight cancellations and delays at Australia's busiest airport.


Malaysia Airlines flight MH122 left Sydney Airport with 194 passengers and five crew aboard on an eight-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur and returned more than three hours later because of a 'disruptive passenger', the airline said.

“In the interest of safety, the commander of the flight made a decision to return to Sydney,” Malaysia's national carrier said in a statement.


Nine News reported that a passenger holding a backpack on the Airbus A330 had threatened to 'blow the plane up'. Crew checked the backpack and found no explosives, it said.

Australian Federal Police described the situation as an 'emergency incident'.

A 45-year-old man was arrested without incident and the rest of the passengers were released from the plane about three hours after it landed, a police statement said.

The man, who was not identified, was expected to be charged later Monday, police said. They did not specify an offense.

Sydney Airport said some flights continued to land and take off while emergency agencies responded to the situation. No international flights were cancelled.

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