[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005, 18:56 GMT
Pilot dumps drunk man on island
Map of Porto Santa
A drunken air passenger was cast away on an island more than 1,000 miles from home after abusing cabin staff.

The unidentified man swore at crew and passengers after being refused a bottle of wine on the four-hour flight from Manchester to Tenerife.

He became so abusive the fed-up pilot diverted the Monarch Airlines Airbus to Porto Santo island off West Africa.

After the plane touched down, the man was marched off by police and had his luggage dumped on the tarmac.

The plane and its remaining passengers then took off again for Tenerife, where it landed almost four hours late after the unscheduled stop.

The action was taken in the interests of all the passengers. That sort of behaviour is not acceptable
Airline spokeswoman

It is not known if police on the island, which is under Portuguese authority, charged or released him.

The Atlantic island, which is 10 miles long and three miles wide, is a two-hour ferry journey to Madeira.

Monarch Airlines said the passenger did not appear drunk to crew when he boarded flight ZB558 from Manchester at 1615 on Tuesday.

The crew tried to pacify the man but his behaviour got worse and the pilot decided to land and force him off.

Calm down

A Monarch Airlines spokeswoman confirmed the man, who they would not name, was thrown off the flight for "abusive and disruptive" behaviour.

"Despite repeated attempts by Monarch Scheduled staff to calm the individual, the passenger's behaviour did not improve and the decision was taken to divert to Porto Santo.

"The action was taken in the interests of all the passengers. That sort of behaviour is not acceptable.

"He was given the chance to calm down and he declined it. He was given a form, a caution for his behaviour, and he refused to sign it."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific