Published in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 23, 2016
Bradley Beecham, one of six men who brawled on a Jetstar flight to Phuket on Wednesday, has apologised for the group’s behaviour.
“I’m sorry to everyone on the flight but there are certain things you can only try and prevent the best you can to help people,” he said.
Mr Beecham, Brett Eldridge and Lynmin Waharai were spoken to by police on Saturday morning when they landed at Sydney Airport.
A spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police said that no arrests have been made, but inquires into the matter will continue.
Their flight was due in at 6:15am, but Mr Eldridge and Mr Beecham didn’t emerge for over an hour after they disembarked.
Mr Eldridge was hooded and made a run for the doors without comment.
Police later informed Fairfax Media that Mr Waharai had left the airport and managed to escape media attention.
The others involved in the brawl, Ricky William, Mark Rossiter and Michael Matthews, arrived at Melbourne Airport on Friday night at 10:10pm.
They were also interviewed by police and didn’t emerge until over two hours after their plane landed.
Mr Matthews, who sported a black eye after the fight, refused to comment.
The group had a “massive” and bloody “punch up” according to a witness’ friend, which caused Jetstar flight JQ27 to Phuket to be diverted to Bali on Wednesday night.
The only explanation the group have provided to police for the incident is that they were “drunk”.
Footage has now emerged of the group drinking cheerily at a Sydney Airport bar prior to their departure.
The men were escorted off the plane and held in custody by Indonesian police, before being passed over to Jetstar security staff for the flight back to Australia.
In a statement, Jetstar described the men as “extremely disruptive”.
The remaining 309 passengers, including seven babies, continued on their journey to Phuket, Jetstar said.
The flight took off from Sydney at 2:25pm on Wednesday afternoon and did not arrive in Phuket until 11:15pm, two hours later than scheduled.
In the past, Jetstar have sought costs from passengers who cause major disturbances, and have enforced flight bans of up to ten years.
The group now face the possibility of thousands of dollars in fines from the company, and potentially, police.