A ‘drunk’ woman has been arrested by anti-terror police after he allegedly tried to storm the cockpit as the aeroplane came into land at Heathrow.
Police were called to the scene at roughly 4.30am just after the Malaysia Airways flight touched down.
One witness said: ‘Fun times just landed at Heathrow, Malaysian Airlines have suspended all flights so made it out just in time and anti-terror police boarded the plane and arrested someone for trying to get into the cockpit.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘Officers at Heathrow have arrested a woman on suspicion of being drunk on board.
A ‘drunk’ man has been arrested by anti-terror police after he allegedly tried to storm the cockpit as the aeroplane came into land at Heathrow. Stock picture
‘The woman was taken into custody after a Malaysian Airways flight landed shortly before 04.29hrs on Tuesday, 17 March.
‘She has been taken into custody.’
A Malaysia Airlines spokesman said: ‘Following the incident with an intoxicated passenger on Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH2 to London Heathrow on March 16, 2020, Malaysia Airlines reassures passengers that their safety and that of the crew is their priority.
‘A female passenger became abusive mid-flight. The airline crew responded admirably to manage and resolve the situation with as little disruption to other passengers as possible before handing the passenger over to the MET police on arrival.
‘Malaysia Airlines would further like to inform passengers that flights have not been suspended to or from the United Kingdom.
‘While the country of Malaysia has imposed restrictions on foreign travellers entering the country, the airline is continuing to operate all scheduled flights from Heathrow Airport as transit passengers continue to proceed to their onward destinations.
‘To provide passengers with peace of mind around their upcoming travel plans in light of concerns around coronavirus, Malaysia Airlines is offering unlimited, free changes to all new bookings.’
It comes as a string of airlines were forced to axe flights from the UK following the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid warnings of an industry collapse within weeks, BA-owner IAG, EasyJet, Ryanair and Norwegian all revealed drastic plans to slash costs and ground flights.
Virgin Atlantic said staff had agreed to take eight weeks of unpaid leave over the next three months, with the salary docked from workers’ pay over six months so their income does not dry up.
All 10,000 employees of the company, founded and controlled by Richard Branson, will also be offered voluntary redundancy.
Police were called to the scene at roughly 4.30am just after the Malaysia Airways flight touched down. Stock picture
In a sign of the scale of the coronavirus crisis, the airlines have been backed by the union Unite and pilots association Balpa.
Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, told Boris Johnson: ‘If you do not take urgent action to support the aviation industry in the UK, there is absolute certainty that tens of thousands of jobs will be put at risk, and the industry will be unable to resume effectively once this health crisis has passed.’
Virgin Atlantic called for £7.5billion in emergency loans while transport secretary Grant Shapps promised to meet airline bosses.
He told Sky News: ‘We want to make sure that companies and individuals and organisations who are in a good state – not those that are going to fail anyway – are able to continue.’
Virgin Atlantic said staff had agreed to take eight weeks of unpaid leave over the next three months, with the salary docked from workers’ pay over six months so their income does not dry up [File photo]
The most extreme measures were taken by Norwegian, which is the third largest airline at Gatwick.
It is temporarily laying off around 7,300 staff – 90 per cent of its workforce.
The airline which is saddled with debt, has lost more than 80 per cent of its market value since the start of the year.
IAG, which has announced three-quarters of flights will be cut over the next two months, also said it was ‘taking actions to reduce operating expenses and improve cash flow’.
These include temporarily suspending employment contracts, reducing working hours and offering staff unpaid leave.
The group, which also owns Iberia and Vueling, employs 66,000 staff.
Its chief executive Willie Walsh stressed that he had not requested a government bail-out and insisted IAG was ‘resilient with a strong balance sheet’.