A passenger on Rex flight ZL3471 from Merimbula to Melbourne today allegedly became frightened once the cabin was secured and the right engine was being started and disembarked through the left side main cabin door without authority.
The aircraft was stationary on the tarmac and the male passenger pushed past the flight attendant and exited the aircraft by opening the cabin door and jumping onto the tarmac.
Airport staff apprehended and calmed the passenger while they awaited the arrival of the local police who took the man into custody.
For security reasons, all passengers and baggage were offloaded.
Following a security check of the aircraft and after the police had interviewed the crew and passengers, the remaining 23 passengers re-boarded and the flight departed at 11.45am for Melbourne.
Rex has clarified that the cabin door could only be opened before pressurisation which occurs when both engines are started up. Hence such an incident could not happen while the plane is in the air or taxiing on the runway.