Dutch Air Force scrambles 2 F-16s to escort KLM flight from Abu Dhabi with unruly passenger

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The Royal Netherlands Air Force scrambled two F-16 fighter jets this Saturday morning 6 October to escort a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam after a fight broke out with an aggressive American passenger. The scuffle broke out over Germany, about half an hour before the plane was to land at Schiphol airport.

A 29-year-old American man became aggressive after being asked by a purser to return to his seat,” said Joanna Helmonds, a spokeswoman for the Netherlands Royal Maréchaussée. “A scuffle broke out and the cabin crew, together with other passengers managed to restrain the man,” she told AFP.

Heleen Makkinga, a spokeswoman for KLM, told AFP the airline “regretted the unpleasant incident“, but that cabin crew followed the normal procedures when dealing with an unruly passenger. She added that “passengers and crew have laid a complaint against the man“.

Some passengers were slightly injured. The plane, an Airbus A330-200 registered PH-AOM operating KLM flight KL452, was given special clearance to land immediately at Amsterdam Schiphol.

Police arrested the man immediately after landing. Upon examination, it was determined that he was disorientated. Hence, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital for observation.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force took over recently from the Belgian Air Force to police the Benelux airspace.

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