A passenger was removed from a Citilink flight on Sunday for smoking while boarding the aircraft as it was refueling, the budget carrier stated.
Citilink vice president of corporate communication Benny Siga Butarbutar said in a press release on Monday that a passenger was spotted smoking while walking to the aircraft.
"The incident occurred when we received a report on a passenger who was still smoking while heading to the last Citilink flight QG156 on the Halim-Denpasar route, departing at 9:35 pm, Benny stated as quoted by kompas.com. No information on the passenger was provided.
The Citilink crew were alarmed upon seeing the passenger, who continued smoking while climbing the aircraft passenger stair in close proximity to the engine as the aircraft was refueling.
Upon hearing the report, aviation security personnel took immediate action, Benny said.
"The passenger had entered the aircraft and sat in their assigned seat, when aviation security personnel and a Citilink representative arrived and asked the passenger to disembark," said Benny. The passenger refused and started arguing with the security officer.
Benny said that the passenger's behavior was a threat to the safety and security of the flight.
“In the airline industry, we need to ensure that no safety rule is violated, ensuring that flight operations can run safely, smoothly and comfortably,” he said.