TUI flight diverts with passenger angry over ‘Curaçaoan oppression ‘

A TUI Airlines Boeing 737 touches down.
Alf van Beem, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 2 Min Read
2 Min Read

A scheduled TUI flight operating from Amsterdam to Curaçao was forced to make a precautionary diversion last week, after a passenger became disruptive in flight, behaving aggressively and harassing operational crew members.

TUI flight OR703, a Boeing 787-800 aircraft registered PH-TFK, was operating between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) and Punta Cana Airport (PUJ), Curaçao on Wednesday 14 February when a male passenger began displaying aggressive behaviour in flight.

TUI OR703 Amsterdam-Curaçao Disruption

According to reports, the man was harassing crewmembers and appeared to be targeting Dutch passengers, accusing them of oppression of Curaçaoans.

According to the Netherlands news source HLN, the man at the centre of the incident claimed to be a member of a Curaçao criminal organisation called the ‘No Limit Soldiers’.

Flight track of TUI flight OR703 from Amsterdam to Curaçao showing diversion to TER.

Following the in-flight incident during which the airline stated that “order on board was seriously disrupted”, flight crew elected to make an unscheduled diversion to Lajes Airport (TER) on the island of Terciera in the Azores.

The aggressive passenger was then disembarked and taken into custody by local authorities, whereupon the TUI flight then continued to Curaçao without further incident.

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Historical Background

The Dutch originally colonized Curaçao in the 17th century. Since becoming an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2010, some argue that the legacy of colonialism still has negative impacts on the island and its people.

Some Curaçaoans believe that the Dutch continue to exert undue influence on their internal affairs and economic development.

Whilst some feel that the Dutch government has not done enough to address the historical injustices, others believe that the relationship between the two countries is evolving positively.

There are ongoing discussions about reparations for slavery and colonialism, with different viewpoints on the form and extent of such reparations.

Social movements calling for greater autonomy and recognition of Curaçaoan identity are also gaining momentum.

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A TUI flight from Amsterdam to Curaçao was forced to divert last week when a passenger became aggressive over what he said was 'oppression of Curaçaoans'
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