Durian cargo delays plane in Indonesia
ACARGO of pungent durian fruit led an Indonesian plane to be delayed for an hour after passengers turned their noses up at the funky freight and refused to fly.
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.
The airline admitted it was carrying more than two tonnes of the whiffy wares but insisted they posed no danger to the flight, adding the smell would dissipate once the aircraft took off.
“Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane,” Sriwijaya Air official Abdul Rahim told national television station Kompas TV late on Tuesday.
He blamed unusually hot weather for the stench.
“We made the necessary precautions, such as putting in pandan leaves and coffee powder to absorb the durian smell,” Rahim said.
Staff decided to unload the fruit after passengers who had boarded the flight decided to get off the plane, which took off an hour later and landed safely in Jakarta.