Reports that plane to Bali has been hijacked
The plane on the runway in Bali. Picture: Chris Corless/Twitter

A misunderstanding over the antics of an allegedly drunk passenger on a Virgin Australia flight caused the temporary closure of Bali’s Denpasar airport this afternoon.

The passenger became unruly on the flight from Brisbane to Bali and apparently accidentally knocked the cockpit door and was then handcuffed in the last row of the 737-800.

On arrival at Bali the plane taxied to a remote location and was met by security guards who escorted the man away and he was later arrested.

Initially, the Indonesian Air Force said the flight was believed to have been hijacked.

They suggest that the pilot transmitted the hijack code whereas Virgin Australia say that the code transmitted was for an unruly passenger.

According to Perth man Chris Corless, who was waiting to board a flight to Perth, the incident was over with in less than 40 minutes.

“Apparently not hijacked. Just very unruly passenger,” Mr Coreless tweeted.

And Mr Coreless gave Bali airport high marks for dealing with the situation..

“So I have travelled over 1.3m kms and have experienced all kinds of delays….Bali airport handled this one well, few even knew it happened!”

In a statement Virgin Australia said that “reports that flight VA41 was hijacked en route from Brisbane to Denpasar are completely incorrect.”

“The Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed safely at Denpasar airport at 3.16pm local and all 137 passengers and 7 crew have since disembarked,” a spokesperson said.

The airline added that “at no point was the safety of the aircraft in question.”

“There was a disruptive passenger on board and the pilot notified authorities in advance of landing, as per standard operating procedures.”

The West Australian

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