Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 14:08 UK

Brawling couple 'diverted flight'

Manchester Airport
The rest of the passengers arrived at Manchester Airport on Wednesday

A couple who had a drunken brawl on a flight from Egypt to Manchester forced the aircraft to be diverted to France, police said.

The fight between Andrew Gilmour, 43, and Jacqueline Smith, of Kirby Road, Coventry, culminated in Ms Smith biting Mr Gilmour's cheek, officers said.

Air crews took the decision to re-route the flight to Lyon.

French air transport police said the couple were arrested late on Tuesday but released without charge.

No-one was seriously injured.

Police said the couple had to be separated on the Thomas Cook Boeing 757 aircraft from Hurghada, Egypt.

'Drunk and fighting'

A spokesman for French air transport police in Lyon said: "They were drunk and fighting each other on the plane.

"The woman bit the man on the face but neither of them suffered major injuries."

No age details were available for Ms Smith, he added.

The crew of Flight TCX 573L was said to have attempted to restrain the warring partners before two female off-duty police officers stepped in.

The rest of the passengers arrived at Manchester Airport on Wednesday morning, more than three hours later than scheduled.

A Thomas Cook Airlines spokesperson said the company was "currently completing its internal investigations into this incident".

They added that they were carrying out the investigation "with a view to taking the matter forward to a prosecution of the two individuals through the British legal system".

The spokesperson added: "We operate a zero tolerance policy towards disruption and aggressive behaviour to our staff and customers onboard our aircraft.

"We will always look to press charges against such conduct."


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