Drunk passenger causes Virgin Australia hijack scare

Singapore
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An intoxicated passenger was apparently behind a hijacking scare aboard a Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800.

The aircraft was operating service VA41 on the Brisbane-Denpasar route, and apparently close to landing when the aircraft's transponder started squawking the distress code for a hijacking.

Sources at the Indonesian air force have told Flightglobal that the aircraft landed at approximately 14:00 at Denpasar Ngurah Rai International airport, where it was moved to a remote area and was being handled by security forces. Another observer noted that a "drunk Australian" passenger was removed from the aircraft, which remained stationery on the tarmac.

Virgin Australia denied that the aircraft had been involved in a hijack.

"Reports that a Virgin Australia aircraft was hijacked on route to Denpasar this is not correct. The aircraft in question has landed safely and at no point was the safety of our passengers ever in question. "The aircraft in question has landed safely and at no point was the safety of our passengers ever in question," it says.

The aircraft involved in the incident bears registration VH-YIF, according to flight tracking web sites.