Drama ensued after a German man and his Thai wife engaged in a heated argument aboard a Lufthansa Airlines flight that was on its way to Bangkok from Munich, causing the flight to be diverted to New Delhi on Wednesday, according to sources. The husband was deboarded after the plane landed at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport at 10:26 am.
The pilots of Lufthansa flight LH772 contacted the Air Traffic Control (ATC) and informed them about "a situation and possibly unruly passenger". The argument between the couple led to some problems aboard the plane that caused it to seek permission to land in Delhi, which was allowed, said sources.
In its statement, the German airline said that the flight was diverted due to an unruly passenger on board. "The person in question was handed over to authorities. The flight to Bangkok is expected to continue subsequently with minor delays. Safety and security on board for our passengers and crew is our top priority," Lufthansa said.
According to an official, the Thai wife complained to the pilot about her husband's behaviour, saying that she was being "threatened" by him and sought intervention. Sources further said that the German passenger "threw food, tried to burn a blanket using a lighter, shouted at his wife and did not follow the instructions issued by the crew".
The alleged unruly passenger was offloaded by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, while his wife chose to continue her journey to Bangkok as she was travelling on a different ticket. A decision to hand over the alleged unruly passenger to Delhi Police or consider his apology and send him back to Germany on another flight is pending,
A Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official told news agency ANI that the airline is coordinating with the German Embassy regarding the passenger. The flight may take off in some time for its scheduled destination, sources said.
"The aircraft is ready for push back any time soon after cooling off of tyres for Bangkok," the official said. The reason for the fight between the couple remains unclear. The flight initially sought permission to land at Pakistan's nearly airport, but for undisclosed reasons, that request was not fulfilled.
(with inputs from agencies)