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'Disruptive passenger' in custody after plane turns back to Auckland

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Saturday, 27 April 2019, 3:20PM
A LATAM airlines plane that departed from Auckland bound for Santiago, Chile, returned back to Auckland Airport last night. Photo / 123RF
A LATAM airlines plane that departed from Auckland bound for Santiago, Chile, returned back to Auckland Airport last night. Photo / 123RF

A "disruptive passenger" remains in custody after a plane bound for Chile was re-routed to Auckland on Friday night.

The LATAM flight had left Auckland International Airport about 6.30pm bound for Santiago, Chile. But instead it turned back and arrived back in Auckland about three hours later.

"LATAM Airlines Group flight LA800 from Auckland to Santiago yesterday had to return Auckland due to a disruptive passenger, approximately one hour and 15 minutes after take-off," a LATAM Airlines Group spokesperson said.

"The decision was made in line with established operational and safety protocols, designed to safeguard passenger welfare. The aircraft arrived safely in Auckland at 20:14 local time and was greeted by local authorities to escort said passenger. No harm was met by passengers or crew.

"LATAM apologises for the inconvenience caused to other passengers on the flight, who were provided with hotel accommodation."

A replacement flight left Auckland just after lunchtime today.

Police confirmed the person was taken into custody on the flight's return to Auckland and "they remain in custody under the Immigration Act".

On Friday night, Airways spokeswoman Emma Lee confirmed the flight had returned to Auckland. Both Air Traffic Control and police had been notified, she said.

"The pilot notified Air Traffic Control that it was returning to Auckland, around an hour into the flight," she said.

Lee had said the issue was related to a passenger.

ON AIR: Mike Hosking Breakfast

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