Chinese pilot sacked after telling passengers to get off plane and protest against flight delay
Passengers took his advice and took selfies, played with a shuttlecock and strolled around the aircraft at an airport in Yunnan province
A pilot has been fired after he told passengers to get off his aircraft in protest because it was delayed from leaving an airport in southwest China, Chinese media reported.
The flight operated by Lucky Air was scheduled to leave Xishuangbanna Gasa Airport in Yunnan airport at just after midnight on Monday, the state run news agency Xinhua reported. The plane was bound for the provincial capital Kunming.
At about 12.40 am the pilot, who was not named in the report, told passengers another flight had jumped the queue for take-off.
He then told them to get off the aircraft to put pressure on the airport authorities.
“I am very angry. Please get off the plane. We’re not taking off now. Let’s put some pressure on the airport and help me see some justice,” the pilot was quoted as saying.
A video posted on social media showed passengers doing as the pilot requested, strolling outside the aircraft, taking selfies and kicking a shuttlecock in the air in front of the plane.
Soon after the protest, Lucky Air and the airport reached an agreement and the pilot asked the passengers to re-embark.
However, some passengers refused to do so, expressing annoyance at being “called around at someone else’s will”, the report said.
The flight departed at about 3am and arrived in Kunming an hour later.
Twelve passengers who refused to re-embark were left at Xishuangbanna airport.
Lucky Air said in a statement that the delay was the result of communication problems between the airport and the crew and that pilot had since been fired.
Chinese airports are notorious for their flight delays. The average delay for flights last year was 21 minutes, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.