Virgin Australia Hijack Scare: Australia Federal Police Await Arrival of Matt Lockley in Brisbane for Further Investigation

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By Reissa Su | April 28, 2014 6:34 PM EST

Federal police in Australia will meet the "hijack scare" man at Brisbane Airport after he was sent back from Bali, Indonesia, for attempting to enter the cockpit of a Virginia Australia plane on April 25. Australian authorities will meet Matt Lockley from Gold Coast as he disembarks from his Virgin Australia flight at Brisbane Airport on Monday evening.

Reuters
A Qantas Airlines Boeing 737 plane sits next to a Virgin Australia Boeing 737 plane at the Port Hedland airport in the Pilbara region of western Australia December 3, 2013. REUTERS

The 28-year-old Virgin Australian passenger sparked an international hijack scare on a plane bound for Bali. Lockley told Indonesian police that everything was a misunderstanding as he mistakenly assumed that the cockpit door was the entrance to the toilet.

On April 25, Reports of a Virgin Australia plane being hijacked and forced to land in Indonesia's Bali airport were denied by the Australian airline's representative Heru Sudjatmiko. Speaking from Bali's international airport, Mr Sudjatmako said a drunk and unruly passenger had attempted to enter the plane's cockpit when he displayed aggressive behaviour. Virgin Australia's cabin crew restrained and handcuffed the man.

Virgin Australia said the message relayed to personnel in air traffic control about a cockpit breach had caused the airport to respond to a "worst case scenario" which led to the misunderstanding.

Various reports circulating in social media had mistakenly announced a "hijacking" of the Virgin Australia plane. A post on Twitter by AFP was retweeted over a hundred times, with people asking for specific details about what they thought was a hijacked aircraft.

In Virgin Australia's Facebook page, the airline company said, "There are incorrect reports that a Virgin Australia aircraft was hijacked en route to Denpasar this is not correct. The aircraft in question has landed safely and at no point was the safety of our passengers ever in question."

The Australian Federal Police has assumed the responsibility of the investigation since the flight originated in the country. Indonesian police had detained Mr Lockley for questioning immediately after he was taken out of the plane on April 25.

According to a spokesman, it was too early to tell at this point of the investigation if the AFP will file charges against Mr Lockley. He said federal police will meet the Mr Lockley upon his arrival to begin the initial enquiries. Reports said Indonesia will not lay charges against Mr Lockley.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A Qantas Airlines Boeing 737 plane sits next to a Virgin Australia Boeing 737 plane at the Port Hedland airport in the Pilbara region of western Australia December 3, 2013. REUTERS
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