Because upset Hong Kong Airlines passengers often resort to violence when they discover their flights have been delayed, the airline plans to teach its flight attendants Kung Fu.
The airline estimated that only 28 percent of its flights depart on time, in part because the People’s Liberation Army controls a majority of airspace, and it can be difficult to obtain clearance from them.
In July, 30 passengers stormed a runway after a seven hour delay. In another incident that month, angry passengers beat up flight staff, some of which had to be hospitalized.
Two staff members were also injured when a passenger tried to rip off a staff member’s nametag.
In another notable incident, a teacher slapped and kicked an attendant when her flight was delayed, and became even more upset when no one offered her refreshments.
"The passengers were very emotional and unstable," Ni Xuying said.
Angry passengers so often take out their rage on flight attendants and airport staff that staff have developed a name for them: “King Nu Zu”, meaning “air rage tribe”.
These brawls between passengers and airline staff can further delay flights. In one case, a domestic flight was delayed for 18 hours because of a brawl.