Indonesian plane delayed because of durian fruit

Roman Schwartz
November 9, 2018

An Indonesian plane was temporarily grounded after passengers complained about an overwhelming smell of durian in the cabin.

The durian fruit has been banned from public transport and hotels in some countries because of its "stinky" smell, which has been described by food writer Richard Sterling as "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock".

As they protested for the removal of what is considered by some a delicacy, and by others a cheese-smelling fruit, passengers reportedly referred to a 2005 crash of a Mandala Airlines plane in Medan, which killed 149 people.

Passengers on an Indonesian airplane almost came to fisticuffs with the flight crew on Monday because they could smell the stench of two tons durian in the cargo area. The airline eventually unloaded the fruit and the flight took off an hour later.

The flight, which was scheduled to take off at 10.40am was subsequently delayed by an hour while the fruit was removed.

Footage posted by a passenger on Facebook showed passengers watching as the fruit was unloaded.

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"Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane", Abdul said. "I complained to the stewardess but they told me to just fill up a complaint form", said Amir Zidane.

Crew allegedly told him that the smell would go away once the flight was in the air.

However, he was unsatisfied with the answer and called his fellow passengers against flying in those conditions.

Despite the fact the passengers were victorious, the airline's management later defended their decision to carry the controversial cargo. "They all chanted back 'not us!'".

"It's not illegal to carry durian in a flight as long as it is wrapped properly in accordance with flight regulations - carried inside the hold".

She added that the total load in the cargo hold including the durian shipment had been 3 tons, which comes in well below the plane's maximum carrying capacity.

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