Officials from Ngurah Rai International Airport on Bali have said the removal of a group of Australian passengers from a Melbourne-bound Jetstar flight on Sunday had nothing to do with their religion.
“We want to convey that the removal of a number of passengers from [the Jetstar plane] was purely because of security and flight safety reasons related to unruly passengers and had nothing to do with SARA [tribal affiliations, religion, race and societal groups] issues,” airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim said in a statement on Wednesday.
He said the incident started when Jetstar flight JQ-36 was preparing to take off on Sunday night and the cabin crew asked passengers to return to their seats and put on their seatbelts.
“Two passengers did not heed the cabin crew’s instructions,” he said.
One passenger had complained that the in-flight entertainment monitor at his seat would not turn on.
The cabin crew said they would address the matter after the flight had taken off, but the two passengers insisted on remaining standing.