The 43-year-old man was allegedly ranting and racially abusing staff on the Malaysia Airlines flight. Boris and his entourage are said to have spoken to the passenger on their 13-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur. Cabin crew on board the Malaysia Airlines flight later restrained the man after Johnson’s pleas for him to calm down were ignored. A witness said after several attempts to calm him down, six cabin staff handcuffed him, tied his legs and then strapped him in his seat.
After he continued to shout, the mayor warned him he would be arrested when the plane landed in London. The mayor was on his way back to the UK following a high-profile six-day trip to the far east promoting bilateral trade and investment. The mayor’s spokesman said: “The mayor, along with a number of other passengers and members of the cabin crew, did make several attempts to calm the gentleman concerned but to no avail. We understand the gentleman was restrained by the crew and detained by police on arrival at Heathrow.” Eileen Burbidge, one of Johnson’s ambassadors on board the flight,tweeted: “So impressed with MH2 cabin crew (Kuala Lumpur-LHR); amazing professionalism/handling of passenger who was off his head.”
Passenger Tom Oakes said the man was racially abusing staff, clearly drunk and demanding more drinks. He also said, “The crew took him down the plane and spent an hour or so calming him down. He returned to his seat and the whole cabin were nervous. He started ranting. They warned him three times and yet he was aggressive… At this point 6 crew pinned him down, cuffed him, tied his legs and strapped him in a seat. The man calmed down and started to sober up. However he was still belligerent and at one point rolled down the aisle with his hands in cuffs. The mayor laughed the incident off and congratulated the crew for their work, which was excellent.”
At Heathrow the passenger was taken off the plane by six police officers.
A Met Police spokesman said the man was arrested on suspicion of being drunk on board an aircraft and common assault.