June 23, 2007

Thai Airways mulls move to screen 'abnormal' passengers

Thai Airways Friday said it was considering an overhaul of the system of checking the antecedents of passengers, a day after a man stripped inside one of its aircraft en route to the city from Dubai.

According to Mike Panatta, general manager of the airline's Chennai office, they were facing a minor problem of passengers with undisclosed psychological maladies travelling on Thai Airways aircraft.

The passenger in question, who hailed from Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu, had stripped all of a sudden as the plane was about to descend at Chennai airport Thursday.

Police sources said that he had worked in the Middle East for the past 18 months and pleaded 'a temporary memory blackout'. He has been sent for medical examination after being detained.

'An incident like a hugely built person dancing nude inside the plane is something we wish to avoid at all cost,' Panatta told IANS Friday.

'We do not have any control on passengers globally on our aircraft managed mainly by agents. So far there have been no similar incidents in our planes anywhere in the world, but one instance itself is too many.'

'We cannot reveal the concerned passenger's name due to our security clauses', Panatta said, adding that the airlines' security staff overpowered the man and handed him over to the local police.

'Though the cabin crew did not face any other difficulty from the accused person, everybody inside the aircraft was shocked,' Panatta said.

The surprised cabin crew finally managed to cover the man with a blanket before sending him into police custody.

Panatta, however, added that the passenger did not consume alcohol in the flight.

Last year, a woman had nearly succeeded in undressing herself at the immigration check facility at the Anna International airport here after returning from the Middle East.

Source: IANS via Yahoo! India News

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