A file photo of a Vietjet Air plane
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam on Wednesday denied allegations on social media that a pilot of budget carrier VietJet Air assaulted a passenger, causing a flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City to be delayed for more than three hours.
The agency, better known as CAAV, released the statement after some passengers on the flight made the claims on social media.
According to the passengers, they boarded the plane, scheduled to take off at 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
However, they were kept waiting on board for nearly one hour with no air conditioning.
Many of them then started to demand the flight attendants to open the door so they could get some fresh air, but their request was denied.
During the chaos, the captain reportedly "rushed out of the cockpit" and "stormed" towards a female protester, witnesses said.
She was seen lying on the floor moments later.
However, in its statement, CAAV blamed the passengers for their disruptive behavior, even though it conceded that they might have been upset by the delay.
The agency pledged to collaborate with relevant agencies to investigate the case.
A still photo supposedly from a video taken by a passenger during a chaos inside a VietJet Air plane on August 4, 2015. Photo credit: VnExpress
VietJet Air said in its report for CAAV that the flight was delayed because it had to change the airplane, according to local media.
The flight's chief attendant had informed passengers of the delay, asking them to be seated.
But, a Vietnamese male passenger left his seat and headed to the galley, loudly demanding the attendants to open the door and pay him compensation.
The purser tried to calm him down in vain, the airline said.
A foreign passenger, who happened to be a pilot, approached the angry man in order to talk to him down, but he was met with rejection.
At the time, many other passengers rushed to the galley and pushed the purser out of their way to open the door, according to the report.
The foreigner again tried to reason with them and prevent them from another counter with attendants. However, he ended up being pushed out of the airplane, it said.
VietJet Air said after the situation was settled, it served affected passengers free meal and paid them compensation in accordance with laws, before resuming the flight about three and half hours later.