BANGKOK, March 20 (Reuters) - A Moscow-bound flight with 369 passengers on board was grounded temporarily at Phuket airport in southern Thailand on Sunday after a passenger refused to fly, saying that his presence endangered the aircraft.
The incident comes a day after all 62 people aboard a Flydubai Boeing 737-800 flying from Dubai to southern Russia were killed when their plane crashed on its second attempt to land.
Sunday’s Phuket to Moscow flight operated by Russia’s Nordwind Airlines was due to depart at 10.35 a.m. local time but the captain asked to suspend the flight because of a passenger incident, Airports of Thailand said in a statement.
The company, which runs Thailand’s international airports, said: “As the plane was leaving Bay number 6 a passenger named Alexander Nosov asked not to fly. He said: ‘If I travel with this plane, this plane will not be safe’.”
An inspection by an explosive ordnance disposal team found nothing suspicious on the aircraft, the company said.
The passenger was detained for questioning at the airport, police said, and did not fly with the plane when it took off more than six hours behind schedule.
The Thai holiday island of Phuket is popular with Russian holidaymakers and is home to a large Russian expatriate community.
Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by David Goodman