Tim Colehan, assistant director, external affairs at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), says unruly passengers are still a significant problem.

According to a statement on the IATA website, there were more than 58,000 unruly passenger incidents reported to the association between 2008 and 2016.

“Unruly passengers remain a significant issue for the industry and the only way to deal with this problem is for governments, airlines and other stakeholders to work together to resolve it.

“Together, with a more effective international deterrent and improved preventative action, we’ll make flying even safer and incident-free for all.”

The statement said existing laws allow only the country under which the aircraft is registered to act on unruly passenger incidents onboard flights.

The IATA has therefore called for the ratification of the MP14, a law that gives the country where the aircraft lands legal jurisdiction to deal with the passenger.

So far, 12 countries have ratified MP14 in a case where 22 countries must adopt the protocol before it comes into force.

The association said airlines witnessed peak demand in November 2017.

“African carriers posted the largest year-on-year increase in demand of all regions in November, with freight volumes rising 17.5%.

“Capacity increased 24%. During the same period international freight volumes grew by 17.8%, a deceleration from 27.2% in October. However, this still was the 13th month of double-digit increases.

“Demand has been boosted by very strong growth in Africa-Asia trade which increased by more than 67% in the first ten months of the year.”

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