Jetstar flight returns to Melbourne due to unruly passenger

A Jetstar aircraft taxiing at Changi airport in Singapore. Flight JQ968, which was heading to Perth, turned back just after it had reached Adelaide and returned to Melbourne at about 1.40am, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
A Jetstar aircraft taxiing at Changi airport in Singapore. Flight JQ968, which was heading to Perth, turned back just after it had reached Adelaide and returned to Melbourne at about 1.40am, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

MELBOURNE - An unruly passenger forced a Jetstar plane to turn back to Melbourne on Sunday after about an hour into the flight.

Flight JQ968, which was heading to Perth, turned back just after it had reached Adelaide and returned to Melbourne at about 1.40am, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The passenger had been consuming his own alcohol and was twice caught smoking, a flight attendant told the other passengers.

"We carry jet fuel, which is 10 times more volatile than car fuel, so for safety reason (we turned around the flight)," she said.

The newspaper quoted an eye witness as saying the man appeared intoxicated prior to boarding the flight.

Upon arrival in Melbourne, the man was removed from the plane by the Australian Federal Police.

The airline said the unruly passenger had been placed on its "no fly list", which prohibits him from flying with the Qantas Group, including Jetstar, until further notice.

"Unfortunately, it was within about an hour into the flight that the passenger was disruptive," a spokesman was quoted as saying.

"We regret that the passenger's actions interrupted the travel plans of others," she added.