Turkish Airlines passenger experiences panic attack, prompts diversion of flight from Egypt to Istanbul
ISTANBULA Slovenian passenger flying with Turkish Airlines suffered a panic attack on board on Jan. 12, forcing the plane to return to Istanbul Atatürk Airport after he caused damage to the cabin and hit cabin crew and passengers.
Flying with his wife, Anton Cestnik was struck by a panic attack crisis as the plane was flying over Egyptian air space en route from Istanbul to Mombasa, Kenya.
Cestnik first kicked the passenger seat in front of him during the early phases of his crisis before breaking the remote control and the side of his seat. Continuing to act in a violent fashion, Cestnik then also attacked some passengers and cabin crew members attempting to pacify him. Despite being handcuffed as part of flight procedures, Cestnik could not be kept under control, breaking the handcuffs.
Amid the unsuccessful efforts to calm Cestnik down, the passengers stated their reluctance to continue the flight with the man.
Issuing a statement concerning the flight, the Turkish Airlines press office said the pilot considered diverting the plane to Antalya Airport but due to the weight of the aircraft, he diverted it back to Istanbul Atatürk Airport.
The statement added that after landing back in Istanbul, Cestnik was handed to police teams while he and his wife were declared inadmissible passengers. On Jan. 13, the couple was sent back to Munich, from which their journey originated.
Meanwhile, the gas spent on detour was estimated at 20 tons and cost 11,000 dollars.
The statement also said all the rights of other passengers to open a case regarding the situation were reserved.