A flight attendant was injured and three people were arrested after a violent fight broke out during an eight-hour flight from Paris Orly airport in France to French Guiana in South America.
Videos of the prolonged altercation have since gone viral on social media, although it’s not known exactly what caused the fight to break out. Prosecutors say the men could face prison sentences of up to three years if found guilty of jeopardising the safety of the flight.
The melee broke out on Air Caraïbes flight TX570 on Friday, 11 January which was being operated on an Airbus A350-1000. Air Caraïbes operates a high-density version of the A350 with seating for up to 429 passengers.
A spokesperson for the airline confirmed that a flight attendant had been injured as he tried to pull the fighting passengers apart.
“Some customers helped our crew to contain this situation, the consequences of which could have been serious without the coolness of our crew, who knew how to perfectly control the situation,” commented Eric Michel, deputy general manager of Air Caraïbes.
“You have to allow time for the investigation. In any case, it is unacceptable. These are extremely rare incidents. We reserve the right to file a complaint.”
In one video, several flight attendants and passengers tried to calm down a passenger who was forced up against a main exit of the aircraft.
Samuel Finielz, a public prosecutor described the incident as “serious” and said the behaviour of those arrested was “unacceptable and intolerable”.
All three suspects were arrested by PAF border police and remain in custody.
Air Caraïbes is a French airline that is based in the French West Indies and majority-owned by Groupe Dubreuil. The company also owns French Bee which operates low-cost flights from France to French Polynesia and the United States,
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.