'Aviation tri-factor' to blame for Tiger Airways swearing arrest

A Perth man reported to face severe Singaporean penalties after swearing while on a Tiger Airways flight, was apprehended due to an "aviation tri-factor"– in that the airline carrier was foreign, the plane was within international airspace and his destination was outside of Australia.

But an aviation lawyer has told WAtoday.com.au that he doesn't believe the man will receive a caning because it would be "catastrophic" for Tiger's business.

The man, reported to be 47 years of age, is subject to overseas laws which include a possible caning, after being arrested in Singapore, where the plane landed.

Aviation lawyer, Pat Noonan said the man was "very unlucky" to have been apprehended on January 3, for allegedly swearing in a verbal argument, while on the overnight flight to Singapore.

"What happened in this particular instance is that all three factors came into play," Mr Noonan said.

Mr Noonan said that the law could be blurry when dealing with international flights and airspace, however there were certain conventions followed.

"The country of carrier applies their own laws while in international airspace. However if there is an incident in Australia, then Australian laws will apply to passengers that are off-loaded in Australia," he said.

"You've got to be very, very careful. If the incident does occur in international skies on a foreign carrier, that country's laws do apply."

Incidents such as this would make travellers think twice about using foreign airlines, Mr Noonan said.

Mr Noonan said that Singapore was "sensitive to the laws of other countries" and believed it would take Australian laws into consideration when handing down a sentence.

"While they see it as a fairly serious offence, I doubt they would use the cane in this circumstance," he said.

He said any serious charge, above a fine "would be catastrophic for Tiger Airways" as it would likely deter Australians from using the airline in future.

Tiger Airways has confirmed there was an incident on board the flight but could not comment further because the incident was under police investigation.

"Tiger Airways has a zero tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour on board our aircraft. Safety and security of staff and passengers underpins the operation at all times and is something we will not compromise," a spokeswoman said.

Tiger has also launched its own investigation into the incident.

The story 'Aviation tri-factor' to blame for Tiger Airways swearing arrest first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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