Video: Face mask brawl on KLM flight to Ibiza; Two arrests

KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol Airport
KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol Airport. 14 June 2011SaschaporscheWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

A brawl erupted on a KLM flight carrying passengers from Amsterdam to Ibiza after several people refused to wear a face mask during the flight as the airline requires. Two people were arrested when the plane landed in Ibiza, a KLM spokesperson confirmed to NL Times.

The incident happened on KLM flight 1495 on Friday morning well after it had departed from Amsterdam. “Two unruly passengers refused to wear their face masks, and they were bothering their fellow passengers physically and verbally,” the spokesperson said.

A report in other Dutch media outlets noted that the passengers involved had been drinking. Neither of the two arrested were believed to have Dutch citizenship, and video of the brawl showed many involved speaking in English.

Crew members and passengers worked together to stop the fight and restrain the two. At no point was the flight in peril, the airline spokesperson said.

The captain of the aircraft made the decision to continue on to the destination as the flight was already far away from its origin, the spokesperson said. The two were turned over to Spanish authorities when the Boeing 737 landed on the island at about noon, nearly 2.5 hours after departure.

Face masks are mandatory on flights governed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and at the country’s airports, due to the difficulty in maintaining a safe physical distance from people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus. The requirement is intended to help prevent a person from spreading the virus to another individual.

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