Emirates Airline passenger jailed in Dubai for assaulting cabin crew

The Pakistani, who works as a farmer in Al Ain, panicked as the plane was taxiing towards the runway, then assaulted crew members as he tried to open the cabin door.

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DUBAI // A panicking passenger who attacked flight attendants and tried to open a cabin door as an aircraft was taking off was jailed for a year by the Criminal Court on Tuesday.

Q A, 29, a Pakistani who works as a farmer in Al Ain, was convicted of assaulting three staff members, endangering the lives of other passengers, and use of violence.

C C, 25, a Portuguese flight attendant, said that on June 12 last year the Emirates flight was taxiing to the runway when the passenger got out of his seat and walked up to her.

“He wanted to get off the plane, so I told him to be seated as the plane was moving and would take off, but he refused and pushed me to try to open the door,” she said.

Two male attendants, S S and M K, came to assist C C, but the defendant punched one of them in the chest and shoved the other one out of the way to reach the door handle.

“He didn’t say why he wanted to get off the plane, he just insisted he get off,” said C C, who was also kicked in the legs by the defendant during her attempts to control him.

S S, 30, a German, said: “I asked him why he wanted to get off the plane, but he didn’t answer me.

“He was moving a lot and pointing to the door, so we asked him to sit but he didn’t. We informed the captain, who reported the matter and the plane was brought to a stop. Then policemen came and arrested him.”

M K, 36, a Sri Lankan, said: “He grabbed me by my tie and pushed S S and kicked C C. We had to place him on the ground and restrain him until police arrived.”

C C, S S and M K had to be replaced by three other cabin crew, which contributed to the flight being more than two hours late.

Court records did not show the destination of the flight.

At the first hearing on September 16 last year, the defendant denied the charges. Q A will be deported after completing his jail term.

salamir@thenational.ae