Drinking on Board of Air Mauritius Flight

You are warned. Fly but don’t get drunk, says Minister.

There is an issue with the number of drunken passengers on Air Mauritius flights, says the Minister of Tourism and External Communication, Mr. Xavier Luc Duval. “They cause problems to other passengers and staff and now Government wants to put into place preventive measures. We intend to have a law that will allow us to prosecute disruptive passengers once they land,” he adds.

However, he says: “We will not ban drinking on our flights; we do not want to change the customer’s experience. Why should we penalize the majority of well-behaved passengers because of a drunken few?” The proposed Civil Aviation (Hijacking and other Offences) (Amendment) Bill, under section 5A reads as follows: Any person who, on board an Aircraft flight – (a) intimidates or threatens a crew member, whether physically or verbally, or uses abusive language against him, or lessens the ability of a crew member to perform his duties; (b) obstructs or hinders a crew member in the performance of his duties; (c) willfully refuses to follow a lawful instruction given by the aircraft commander, or on behalf of the aircraft commander by a crew member, for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the aircraft or of any person or property on board, or for the purpose of maintaining good order and discipline on board, shall commit an offence.

(2) Any person who, on board an Air Mauritius in flight (a) intimidates or threatens, whether physically or verbally another person or uses abusive language against another person; (b) willfully damages or destroys property not belonging to him;(c) is under the influence of an intoxicating drink (i.e. alcohol) or of a drug to such extent as to be incapable of behaving properly, shall commit an offence. One tour Operator believes that the new legislation would be a step towards the right direction. “This is an excellent initiative. The Bill would bring Mauritius in line with other countries, which have laws that offer protection on flights. It is important that at a time when we expect a rise in the volume of tourists, we can assure flight staff a safe working environment.”

The president of the Association of Travel Agencies, Mr. Willy Cheung said: “It is a good piece of legislation that will act as a deterrent. It will protect the cabin crews, and the passengers too.” One steward said: “This new legislation was long overdue. Flight crews have had enough with drunken passengers. They think that we are here to put up with their abuse and ill manners. Not only do they make our job tougher but also they spoil the mood of other passengers. I applaud the Government for this initiative.” An airhostess said: “Dealing with drunken passengers is a cabin crew’s worst nightmare. We must be very initiative to find a diplomatic ways to ask them to stop drinking. We have received training to deal with this issue, but I must confess, it can get quite tiring.


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