Dubai Police have deported a man who punched seats, attacked cabin crew and kicked the windows on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Peshawar to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on September 14.
The passenger may have been suffering mental distress according to a spokesperson for the airline, although the man wasn’t displaying worrying behaviour at check-in when he passed through immigration in Pakistan, the airline says.
The incident started shortly after takeoff when the 21-year-old man started loudly reciting the call to prayer. When cabin crew asked him to stop, he laid face down in the aisle preventing the meal service from getting underway.
“It was when the plane took off that he started giving azaans [call to prayer] very loudly and the crew asked him not to,” PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan told The National.
“He became agitated and then got into the aisle and lay down on his chest and said he was offering prayers. He was asked to sit down but then he kicked the window of the plane.”
Flight PK283 was operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft with around 160 people onboard.
After the man became ‘violent’ towards airline staff, the cabin crew tied him to a spare seat and the Captain requested the attendance of Dubai law enforcement on arrival in the UAE.
“On landing in Dubai, a security team took him out. They probably analysed him and said he should be deported on the next available flight,” the spokesperson continued.
The unnamed suspect has been banned from flying with PIA for life according to ARY news, and the airline does not appear to be pursuing a criminal prosecution against the man.
PIA says security forces handed the man over to family members and he has since been assessed by medical professionals.
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.