A passenger on a long-haul KLM flight from Amsterdam to Beijing attacked and wounded a co-pilot before being restrained by other passengers, the Dutch airline said on Tuesday.
The airline sought to play down the incident, but Dutch media said the attacker, a man whose nationality was not disclosed, had stabbed the co-pilot either with a knife or with a piece of broken glass. KLM did not confirm that a weapon was used in the incident on Sunday.
In a statement to French news agency AFP, the carrier said: “On Sunday, January 3, on board flight KL897 en route for Beijing, a confused passenger locked himself in the toilets and inflicted slight wounds on himself.
“He then slightly wounded the co-pilot in one of the kitchens in the cabin.”
The statement added that the plane was never in any danger.
Dutch daily De Telegraaf quoted a witness saying the attacker was “overwhelmed” by other passengers and was then “attached to a seat for the rest of the journey”.
“It was a frightening situation,” a Dutch passenger told the newspaper.
On arrival in Beijing, some 15 policemen were waiting. The assailant was arrested and the co-pilot treated for his injuries. The co-pilot then flew back to the Netherlands.
Written by Peter Needham