HONG KONG – Hong Kong Airlines is requiring its new cabin crews to master kung fu.
But why are they learning this martial art? To deal with unruly passengers, of course.
The martial art, classified by sharp movements and close-range combat, has been deemed perfect for an airplane. And while it may seem an odd practice for flight attendants, Eva Chan, an airline spokeswoman told the paper that it came in handy on a recent Beijing to Hong Kong flight.
“One of the passengers was sick but he was probably drunk and felt unwell — the crew member attended to him and she realized her fitness was helping her especially because the guy was quite heavy,” Chan told the paper. “Normally, a female cabin crew can’t handle a fat guy, especially if he’s drunk, but because of the training, she can handle it quite easily.”
The airline had the idea after the company’s leaders saw crew members perform the martial art at a company function.
A young new crew member named Lumpy Tang told the paper that wing chun was good because “you cannot predict what will happen on the plane. I feel safer because I can defend myself and I’m really happy to be one of the first cabin crew to learn wing chun in the world.”
According to a company spokeswoman, cabin crews have to deal with disruptive passengers up to three times a week.