News National Qantas revokes no-fly ban for man

Qantas revokes no-fly ban for man

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A man who was placed on a no-fly list after he left a Qantas flight involved in an asylum seeker protest has been told he can fly again.

Paul Leary, a 53-year-old business traveller, had his fly ban revoked in an email from the airline.

His female colleague, who also opted to leave the February 2 Melbourne to Darwin flight, is still barred from Qantas and Jetstar flights.

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“As far as we’re aware, my colleague, who initially expressed her discomfort with the situation to cabin staff, is still unfairly banned from flying with Qantas,” Mr Leary said on Wednesday.

“Given that all she did was press a call button, explain her discomfort with what was taking place and ask to leave the plane, there is absolutely no reason for her to continue to be banned.”

The pair opted to leave after another passenger, an asylum seeker protester, stood up before take-off and urged other passengers to do the same.

The plane also contained a Tamil asylum seeker who is facing deportation.

Mr Leary said he admired the protester’s “bravery in taking a peaceful stand to protect an asylum seeker in fear of torture”.

Qantas said it was standard procedure for people who exit a flight in such circumstances to be placed on a no-fly list while Australian Federal Police investigate.

Fly bans are lifted as the AFP concludes each case, a statement from the airline said.

“Temporary no-fly bans are issued when the AFP initiate an investigation into aviation security,” it said.

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