Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Passengers create stink over pungent planeload of durian

Passengers create stink over pungent planeload of durian

A reporter with Indonesia's Antara news agency, Boyke Ledy Watra, who was also on the plane told the Jakarta Post that "several passengers argued, occasionally nearly coming to blows, with flight crew members before deciding to leave the aircraft". Passengers watched from the side as the fruit was taken off the flight, reboarded, and took off after about an hour delay.

An Indonesian airline was forced to delay a flight on Monday after the pungent smell of durian permeated the plane's cabin and nearly caused a brawl between passengers and crew.

Passengers eventually left the plane and refused to board the aircraft until the fruit was removed.

"The three tonnes [mentioned in the video] is the total weight of baggages and other cargo, and this includes the durian".

Singapore has banned the transport of durian fruit on the subway.

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Sriwijaya Air eventually chose to unload the sacks of durian from the flight, causing them to depart at 11.40am, an hour later than scheduled.

"Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane", Sriwijaya Air's Abdul Rahim stated in a television appearance, the Straits Times reported.

"It's normal for every airline to carry durian during a flight as long as it is packaged properly and put inside the cargo hold in accordance with the standards and procedures", Kyodo News quoted Maya as saying in a statement.

A passenger onboard the plane detailed the incident, which took place on Monday, in a Facebook post.

Claims made in the videos that the plane was carrying three tonnes of durian were dismissed on Tuesday by Retri Maya, senior corporate communications manager at Sriwijaya Air.

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Crew members assured him the smell would vanish as soon as the plane was in the air.

Eventually, they were all asked to leave the plane while the crew unloaded the durian.

The durian, regarded by many people in Southeast Asia as the "king of fruits', often provokes a deeply divided response".

The head of Bengkulu airport, Anies Wardhana told local news outlet Detik the airport would "evaluate" future packing situations so that they would "not cause passenger discomfort".

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