Passengers brawl before boarding Singapore Airlines flight in Guangzhou airport

SINGAPORE - Two men were caught on camera brawling before boarding a Singapore Airlines flight at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on Wednesday (Aug 30).

The airline said the incident, which was first reported by citizen journalism website Stomp, took place while passengers were waiting to board flight SQ851, from Guangzhou to Singapore.

According to witness Cedric Teng, 30, who was waiting to board the flight home after a four-day holiday, it sparked off at about 12.30pm local time when one of them wanted to jump queue.

In the video he took, a man in a green shirt could be seen confronting a man in white. After an exchange of words, the man in white struck the man in green.

It soon escalated very quickly, with the two kicking and grappling each other. At one point, the man in white fell to the ground, knocking over a standee.

Towards the end, a man in blue was seen holding back the man in white and trying to calm him down.

Mr Teng told The Straits Times he first noticed the incident due to the shouting and arguing which was very loud. There were at least 50 people in the area at that time.

"I was very shocked and surprised, as it was the first time I've seen this kind of incident at an airport."

He was at the back of the line and a fellow passenger told him that the man in white had insisted on being first in line, despite passengers with young children being allowed to board first.

Mr Teng added that the situation was handled by the airport ground staff.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, a Singapore Airlines spokesman said ground staff resolved the issue with the assistance of other passengers.

"The passengers involved in the incident were permitted to board only after it was assessed that the safety of the flight would not be compromised. Our flight crew were also informed so that they could monitor the situation on board the flight, which proceeded to Singapore without further incident."

The spokesman also emphasised that its customers' safety and security are its top priorities.

"Flight crew are trained to recognise and deal with potential cases of passengers who exhibit unruly behaviour. Our ground staff may also refuse boarding to customers who may have already displayed errant behavior, in order to not compromise the safety and comfort of other customers."