KLM Royal Dutch Airlines confirmed Friday that one of its aircraft traveling from Beijing to Amsterdam was suspended from taking off after six Chinese passengers quarreled with flight attendants on Wednesday.
The Netherlands airline told the Global Times Friday that "there was an incident with Chinese passengers on board and that the aircraft returned to the gate," but refused to reveal more details on the incident.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China was not available for comment by Friday due to the week-long Spring Festival holidays.
Six passengers, all in first class, were late for boarding and refused to wear their seat belts as well as turn off their mobile phones when the aircraft was preparing to take off from the Beijing Capital International Airport for Schiphol Airport, the Beijing-based The Mirror reported on Thursday.
A passenger on board surnamed Lin said in the report that he heard a fierce quarrel and a middle-aged female passenger speaking rudely and threatening to take photos and expose the photos online.
The report said the captain of the flight refused to take off until the passengers were taken away by airport security.
A police officer from the public security bureau of the airport was quoted in the report as saying the dispute was mainly caused by language barriers and didn't last for a long time, and there was no fighting on board. However, the security department refused to comment on the incident when contacted by the Global Times on Friday.
The Mirror said in the report that the airline arranged a different flight for the six passengers, who later flew to Amsterdam.