A passenger launched a violent attack on Emirates cabin crew during a flight from Dubai to Heathrow which allegedly included headbutting one of them.
According to reports the man was forced to the floor during flight EK005 and restrained by staff and a policeman that was said to have been on board. He was later arrested at Heathrow airport when the plane landed about 8pm on Sunday.
A witness told how the man had his hands and legs tied up, and had a mask put over his face to prevent him from biting anyone. The incident follows an altercation on an Air Mediterranee flight from Algiers to Paris last week where a shirtless passenger was said to have urinated on another traveller, sparking a massive brawl after being denied cigarettes and alcohol.
Passenger Dr Farah Jameel said the violent incident began in the food preparation area of the plane and "freaked out" those on board.
Jameel told how the man was pinned to the ground and tied up with "some sort of black rope” as well as a spare seatbelt.
Jameel, who is deputy chair of the British Medical Association’s equality and inclusion committee, told the Evening Standard: “The guy was pinned down and they had tied him up. His hands, legs, and even someone holding his head.
"They even at one point put a surgical face mask on him, I guess to try to stop him biting them. They were wearing gloves as well."
She said the man "kicked off" twice, and had earlier being put in a headlock by the police officer on board.
"They held him there trying to calm him down but he still kept abusing. The whole cabin could hear, everyone was freaked out," Jameel said.
The man was said to have been restrained for over two hours before police "swarmed" the plane at Heathrow and arrested him.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said they received a call at 5.30pm on Sunday about “a violent passenger” and later arrested a 30-year-old Dutch national on suspicion of common assault. The man remains in custody at Heathrow police station.
The spokesman said police are not treating the attack as an act of terrorism incident.
An Emirates spokesman confirmed that an "unruly passenger was restrained by cabin crew" and handed over to "authorities" in London.
The spokesman added: "The safety of our passengers and crew is of critical importance and will not be compromised.
“As the matter is now under police investigation Emirates cannot comment further on the incident.”