A Malaysia Airlines flight yesterday was forced to return to Sydney Airport shortly after departure following threats made by a passenger onboard the routine service.
MH122 from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur is a standard Malaysian operation. However, on the 14th of August, the service was rudely interrupted shortly after takeoff, and the jet was forced to return to the city.
The flight, operated by an Airbus A330-300 registered as 9M-MTK, was in the air for over two hours. However, it did not make it anywhere in the end.
A man was reportedly making threats onboard the aircraft, forcing the plane to turn back. A security threat, even if a ruse, must be treated with the utmost attention, given the hundreds of people at risk.
Passengers were seen posting videos to social media alongside brief text posts highlighting the raising of voice by the man and the escalating scene within the cabin.
The Australian Federal Police have detained the man, arresting him in what passengers described as a slow response time that could’ve seen the emergency turn into a tragedy if the threats had substance behind them.
After some time, passengers were eventually allowed to de-board the aircraft. The duration between landing and eventually deboarding was highlighted through the afternoon arrival turning into passengers leaving the plane in the dark.
Despite criticism from passengers and more, if the threats were genuine, authorities would need to take time to ensure the scene was safe to enter. This process is not something that can be rushed.