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Qantas Passenger Held After Attempt to Enter Cockpit on Flight

July 5 (Bloomberg) -- An Australian man was detained on board a Qantas Airways Ltd. Sydney to Manila flight after he “allegedly” tried to enter the cockpit in a potential threat to the aircraft’s safety, Australian Federal Police said.

“If the cockpit had been breached, the consequences could have been disastrous,” police said in a statement on the department’s website today. The unnamed 33-year-old was restrained by air security officers yesterday after he ran to the front of the aircraft and tried to open the cockpit door.

The passenger on flight QF19 hadn’t “compromised” the safety of the aircraft, which landed about 7 p.m. local time in Manila, Qantas spokesman Luke Enright said in an e-mailed statement.

“Distracting the pilots of a commercial aircraft carrying approximately 400 passengers and flying at an altitude of 10,000 metres is a very real threat” to flight safety, Assistant Commissioner Shane Connelly said in the statement.

The man was handed over to Philippine authorities in Manila, according to the police statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anjali Cordeiro at acordeiro2@bloomberg.net

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