A video of a man violently punching a member of cabin crew just moments after he was apparently praying on the floor of an aircraft galley has gone viral after the footage from the flight deck security camera was leaked online. The incident is said to have taken place on the 24th January on a Transavia flight between Paris and Tunis but has only just come to light after the footage was shared across social media.
In the video, the man is seen performing the Salah Islamic prayer but in doing so he blocks access to both the flight deck and the lavatory at the front of the Boeing 737 single-aisle aircraft. A flight attendant is trapped between the flight deck and the man, while another passenger is also seemingly stuck in the galley area.
It’s not clear how long the man had been blocking the galley but the fact that the flight crew took to recording what was happening on the flight deck security camera with their mobile phone would suggest the man had been there for some time before the video started.
After a short time, the man stands up and then suddenly lunges forward punching the flight attendant in the face. The flight was immediately diverted to Nice and law enforcement was called to meet the aircraft.
A separate video taken by a passenger in the cabin shows the man fighting police and resisting arrest while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great). According to French media reports, the man was arrested but subsequently taken to a hospital where he was detained for psychiatric treatment.
Transavia, which is a low-cost subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group, has been contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of publication. The flight had to be delayed overnight but continued it’s journey the next morning.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.