On Saturday a fight broke out on board a Tunisair flight with combatants “exchanging beatings and slurs” on the aircraft as crew tried to intercede. They were attacked as well. In fact, masks came off of both passengers and crew as the fight roped in several aisles-worth of passengers, and as the brawl made its way down the aisle and back through the aircraft.
The April 10 melee began prior to departure in Tunis, Tunisia when a passenger put their carry on bag in the overhead bin above another passenger’s seat. One report suggests the passenger may have had too much luggage to fit above their own seat, trying to avoid paying checked bag fees.
According to the airline’s spokesperson Ghassen Ouji,
[A]n investigation has been opened and that the passengers, at the origin of the incident, could be the subject of prosecution.
“This fight caused a delay of five hours and financial losses were suffered by the company,” he added.
While the airline reports a 5 hour delay, it appears that Tunis Air flight TU216 from Tunis to Istanbul arrived 2 hours and 30 minutes late in Sunday’s early morning hours. That roughly doubles the flight’s schedule 2 hour 35 minute flight time it takes to traverse the 1040 mile route from North Africa to the European gateway to Asia.