POLICE swooped on an easyJet flight after an "obstinate and aggressive" passenger refused to wear a face mask.
Officers boarded the jet carrying 170 passengers at Jersey Airport after the man flouted airline rules on the Gatwick-bound flight.
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Take off was delayed as he stubbornly refused to don a mask and insisted to the pilot and cabin crew that his rights were being violated.
EasyJet staff pleaded with him to don the protective gear and tried to calm down irate passengers before cops were called.
A witness said: "He was being obstinate and aggressive and kept talking about his rights under UK law, even though he wasn't in the UK.
"The cabin crew didn't have any luck in changing his mind, but eventually he agreed having been spoken to by the captain – he said he was emailing the airline to say he was acting "under duress".
They added: "Other passengers were getting really fed up with what was happening, and cabin crew were trying to calm people down in order to prevent things escalating."
Police were called to speak to the man to "ensure his compliance" before heagreed to wear the mask and was allowed to fly.
The 7pm flight left Jersey Airport eventually left for Gatwick at 7.43pm.
Under Covid-19 rules, face coverings have been compulsory on public transport – including planes – since June 15.
Wearing a mask on flights is easyJet's policy and is set by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
An easyJet spokesman said: "Police attended flight EZY896 due to a passenger behaving disruptively on departure and refusing to wear their face mask.
"The passenger agreed to wear their mask onboard in line with safety requirements and so was permitted to travel.
"In line with EASA guidelines, all passengers are required to wear a face mask during boarding and onboard and we are informing all customers of this requirement ahead of travel.
"The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is our highest priority.”
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