Published on : Saturday, September 2, 2017
A Ryanair flight en route to Madrid from Brussels was delayed by more than two hours while police searched the plane for explosives after a party of Belgian men started joking about being Islamists with bombs.
Officials said passengers were evacuated as police conducted their search.
Prosecutors say the men appeared to be drunk as they were boarding the flight early Saturday morning.
A man in his 50s was taken away and is likely to be put through a fast-track court procedure.
“The flight commander refused to take nine people,” police spokesman Peter De Waele told news channels. “One of them made a crazy joke and starting calling out ‘Allahu Akbar.'”
All the luggage also had to be removed from the plane to be examined by bomb squad sniffer dogs.
Security at the airport has remained tight ever since it and the city’s metro station came under attack in April 2016, causing the deaths of 32 people.
Ryanair has repeatedly insisted that it will not tolerate unruly or drunken behaviour on its aircraft following a number of incidents, many of them in the UK.
Last month the airline called on British airports to enforce a two-drink limit, after an investigation suggested arrests of drunken passengers had risen by 50% in a year.
The airline has already banned UK customers from drinking duty-free alcohol on board.