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November 12, 2018

Stinky durian fruit causes flight delay in Indonesia

November 8, 2018
Two tons of Durian — the world’s stinkiest fruit — prompted a flight delay in Indonesia after passengers flying to Jakarta stepped off the plane. (Norasit Kaewsai / Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The airplane stunk to high heaven — so its passengers refused to fly.

Some 4,000 pounds of durian, known commonly as the world’s stinkiest fruit, caused a flight delay Monday in Indonesia after passengers flying to Jakarta refused to stay on board.




Passengers boarded the Sriwijaya Air flight in Bengkulu and quickly got off, unable to bear the intense smell the fruit produces.

Some of them almost came “to blows” with the cabin crew, who ultimately unloaded the fruit, The Jakarta Post reported.

A video posted to Facebook by one of the plane’s passengers, Amir Zidane, shows people waiting for the smelly cargo to be removed.

“The durian smell has been described as a mix of an onion-like sulfury aroma with notes of sweet fruitiness and savory soup-seasoning. A key component of the durian smell are volatile sulfur compounds, or VSCs, which have been characterized as decaying, onion-like, rotten eggs, sulfury and fried shallots,” geneticist Bin Tean Teh explained in a 2017 interview.

Sriwijaya Air official Abdul Rahim said Tuesday that durian is “not classified as a hazardous material” and the unusually hot weather caused the strong smell, AFP reported.

“We made the necessary precautions, such as putting in pandan leaves and coffee powder to absorb the durian smell,” Rahim said.

The delay lasted only an hour and passengers made it to their destination safely.

Airport staff in Bengkulu will review durian transport procedures to prevent an incident like this in the future.

“It’s not illegal to carry durian in a flight as long as it is wrapped properly in accordance with flight regulations — carried inside the hold,” said Retri Maya, Sriwijaya Air senior corporate communications manager. “Many airlines do this.”

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