China: ‘Obnoxious’ mob holds Australian pilot and crew hostage in Shanghai airport

An angry mob held a Jetstar pilot and cabin crew hostage for three hours when their flight made an unexpected stopover in Shanghai.

Heavy fog forced flight JQ7 to be diverted from Beijing to Pudong Airport last Friday.

Trouble started when passengers were asked to leave the plane. Some feared they were being kicked off and stranded.

It is believed an experienced Australian pilot confronted the irritated mob at the arrivals area along with cabin crew members.

A small group of passengers refused to let the Jetstar staff leave the area.

Passenger Alastair Johnson told of scenes of security, immigration and customs officials standing by as the captain was stopped from leaving the airport arrivals lounge by the angry passengers.

Mr Johnson said the passengers became “extremely obnoxious” when they were divided into groups of those who needed to get to Beijing urgently, and those who could wait for the captain and crew to have their legally required rest break and fly again.

He said that when passengers saw the captain and crew trying to leave, they ran over to them.

“They had them bailed up against a wall with a semi-circle of people around them,” Mr Johnson said.

“The captain was being assaulted. They were preventing him from leaving, physically restraining him and trying to take his bags away.”

He said the captain was very calm in dealing with the passengers.

One of the flight attendants, who was fluent in Mandarin, was able to communicate to the group.

A Jetstar spokeswoman said it had been “a difficult situation for all involved”.

She said due to the unscheduled landing cabin crew exceeded their flying hours and had to rest.

“Some passengers became upset when there was a misunderstanding about onward travel options,” she said.

“Our captain and crew assisted passengers in a calm and professional manner in what was a difficult situation for all involved.”

She said it was the first time an event like this had occurred.

Jetstar called the police as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for help during the ordeal.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the airline reported the incident which occurred in the Customs and Immigration Hall at Pudong Airport in Shanghai.

The Australian Consulate in Shanghai contacted Shanghai Public Security authorities and Jetstar management to confirm the welfare of all Australian passengers and crew,” he said.

“An Australian consular officer also spoke to the Australian flight captain to offer consular assistance.

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

It is not known how many Australians were on the flight.

Source: The Australian “Obnoxious mob holds Jetstar crew hostage in Shanghai”

Categories: Defence & Aerospace

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5 replies

  1. Reblogged this on OyiaBrown.



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