11 March 2005
BRUSSELS – German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG plans to sue the Iranian activities who staged a peaceful sit-in on one of its planes on the tarmac of Brussels’ Zaventem airport Thursday and Friday.
Wencke Lemmes, a Lufthansa spokesman, told Belga news agency that the refusal of some 60 persons to leave a plane until about 4:30 am Friday caused considerable economic damage to the airline.
“The aircraft would normally have had to go back to Frankfurt right away with new passengers on board,” he said. But because the passengers wouldn’t leave, the airline had to commission another plane to make the journey.
He said that Lufthansa would demand compensation from the protestors, but said it was too early to give a precise amount.
The saga began Thursday when around 60 passengers on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt refused to leave the aircraft.
The passengers had EU passports, told Belgian authorities they were of Iranian origin and were staging the sit-in as a protest against the current regime in Tehran.
Passengers not participating in the protest were allowed to leave the plane normally, and Belgian police did not fear the protestors were dangerous.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news