Cargo of world’s smelliest fruit grounds a flight in Indonesia


A load of durian caused an almost violent protest on board of a flight to Jakarta

Drunk passengers, not enough space, clapping after the landing. Travelling by plane might mean enduring various irritating incidents.

However, passengers travelling from Bakulu to Jakarta on Sriwijaya Air flight had to face a delay for a  far more peculiar reason.

Despite being the world's smelliest fruit, durian is very popular in South East Asia — Pixabay
Despite being the world’s smelliest fruit, durian is very popular in South East Asia — Pixabay

The airline was supposed to carry a two-tonne load of durian — the world’s smelliest fruit — which led to an almost violent protest among travellers.

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With an intense smell that came out of the cargo, some travellers refused to board the plane while expressing concerns over the extra weight on the aircraft as well. The passengers who were already on board decided to get off again.

The carrier insisted that the intense scent would go away once the plane was in the air and that durian doesn’t stand for any possible danger to the plane. 

“Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane,” Sriwijaya Air official Abdul Rahim told national television station Kompas TV late Tuesday.

He added that they placed sweet-smelling pandan leaves and coffee powder on the plane “to absorb the durian smell.”

However, it was not enough for the protesters who wouldn’t stop arguing. One man even reportedly started protest chant.

According to BBC, some travellers reached such a level of anger that there was almost an altercation with the crew.

The airline agreed to remove the stinky load eventually and the plane took off one hour after its scheduled departure.  

During – a type of large and spiky fruit – has gained popularity in South East Asia as well as in other parts of the world. It is believed to be very nutritional and some even call it a super fruit.  Yet it has a strong odour similar to rotten food or dirty socks.

The scent is so intense that various authorities have started to restrict the fruit in public spaces. Singapore has banned durian in its subway system while many hotels don’t allow it in their premises at all.

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