Flight attendants on China Eastern Airlines – one of the country’s big four carriers – are learning the Chinese martial art.
Zhang Yuhong, a senior official with China Eastern’s cabin services department, said the first 20 stewardesses have passed their training and are preparing to return to duty.
“Flight attendants are usually the hijackers’ first – and to their minds – easiest targets. By learning basic self-defense and wrestling skills, they not only can protect themselves, but also win time for the air police to subdue the outlaws,” Zhang said.
“The decision has been made [to train all staff] because of the recent satisfactory training outcome,” he added.
Over 2,600 flight attendants will now undergo training to help specialized aircraft security personnel to disarm and over power passengers threatening the safety of aircraft, Zhang said.
All domestic Chinese airlines carry on all flights “air police” as well as plainclothes security guards who “identify themselves when an emergency occurs”.
“Our responsibilities include aiding the security guards and police when the crew and passengers are in danger,” a flight attendant from the Shanghai-based carrier told the Oriental Morning Post in Shanghai.
The news of the nimble but deadly flight attendants fully able to overpower threatening passengershas met with derision from some Chinese air passengers.
“Will the stewardesses punch me if I ask for an extra drink?” Atian Nan Xiao Wai, wrote on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
By Air News Times