World's stinkiest fruit strikes again, cargo of durian grounds plane

Stinky fruit causes plane protest

Passengers booked on a Sriwijaya Air flight from Bengkulu province in Sumatra to Jakarta on Monday complained to staff after smelling the fruit and refused to get on the plane, repulsed by the pungent payload and concerned about the extra weight on board.

Even with the thick spiky husk intact, the unnatural Asian fruit has such a fearsome, unrelenting stench that it's widely banned on most major airlines, mass transit systems and public places across Asia.

Zidane, who posted the video on his Facebook account, had complained about the unpleasant smell in the cabin and later led other passengers in refusing to fly unless the durian fruit were unloaded from the plane.

Videos circulating online showed verbal altercations on the tarmac between disgruntled travellers and ground staff and the fruit finally being taken off the plane after the flight had been delayed for one hour.

Sriwijaya Air senior corporate communications manager Retri Maya released a statement in response to the reports, justifying the airline's decision to carry the durian.

The plane, which failed to take off, was later revealed to have been carrying 2.7 tons of durian.

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The flight attendants assured him the smell would dissipate once the plane was airborne.

Following the incident, Sriwajiya Air said the airline was within its rights to carry the fruit in cargo. They all chanted back, "not us!'".

The company then went on to say that it was normal practice for Indonesian airlines to carry durian in the hold, "as long as [the durian] is packed well and enclosed in the cargo according to standard operating procedure".

The head of Bengkulu airport, Anies Wardhana told local news outlet Detik the airport would "evaluate" future packing situations so that they would "not cause passenger discomfort".

He added that other passengers started complaining and some even nearly "physically clashed with crew members".

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