Transavia bans passenger who circulated crash image before take-off

  • Teenage boy who was escorted off the plane by military police says the image was sent as a ‘joke’
  • Transavia, the low-cost airline of the Air France-KLM group, said it takes communication very seriously

Dutch budget airline Transavia has banned an 18-year-old from flying with it for five years after he showed an image of a plane crash to other passengers a few minutes before its flight (HV6697, operated by KLM Boeing 737-700 registered PH-BGH) was due to leave Rotterdam-The Hague airport to Zadar, Croatia, Wednesday at 06:55.

The teenager used Apple’s AirDrop system – which allows iPhone users to circulate files among other nearby users – to send the image, which was instantly seen by the plane’s purser and some passengers.

A spokesperson for the airline said it took “very seriously” the image of the wreckage from the plane crash as an indication of what the sender indicated might happen if their flight took off.

We took this as some sort of bomb threat,” the spokesperson said. “And in fact, the captain made an official report of a possible threat to the plane.

When the image was spotted, the flight was delayed as the crew made repeated announcements asking the passenger who passed it around to come forward, but to no avail. Ultimately, the 18-year-old only identified himself after the captain said the flight would be delayed indefinitely until the matter was resolved.

The 18-year-old was escorted off the plane by military police. He said during questioning that he sent the image as “a joke”.

The aircraft eventually took off with a 30-minutes delay.

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