'˜Drunk and disruptive' passengers force flight to return to Gatwick Airport

A flight from Gatwick Airport was forced to make a u-turn on Tuesday (April 19) due to passengers being '˜drunk and disruptive', police said.

Friday, 22nd April 2016, 8:23 am
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2016, 10:40 am
Gatwick Airport control tower with aircraft in flight in background SUS-150705-150051001

The Tenerife-bound easyJet flight took off at 7.24am but returned to the airport at 8.51am.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said two men were arrested for being disruptive and drunk on the plane.

He said: “A 26-year-old man from Portsmouth was arrested on suspicion of being drunk on board an aircraft, assaulting an officer in execution of duty, using threatening abusive words of behaviour and endangering an aircraft.

“A 27-year-old man, also from Portsmouth, was arrested on two counts of using threatening abusive words of behaviour and endangering an aircraft.”

Both men have been bailed until Thursday June 2 while enquiries continue.

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “easyJet can confirm that flight EZY8703 from London Gatwick to Tenerife on April 19 returned to London Gatwick after take off due some passengers on board behaving in a disruptive manner. Police met the aircraft on arrival at London Gatwick and arrested two passengers.

“Whilst such incidents are rare we take them very seriously, do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour on board. The behaviour of these passengers was unacceptable and we will fully cooperate with police in order push for prosecution.

“easyJet’s cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.

“Customers were disembarked from the aircraft whilst their baggage was removed and the plane was security screened. Once this was complete passengers reboarded and the flight continued to Tenerife. Passengers were offered a complimentary refreshment service during the flight.

“The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always easyJet’s priority.”

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