SINGAPORE, A Jetstar plane bound for Australia was delayed in Singapore and police were called in after three passengers were involved in a heated argument over a phone.

Jetstar flight 3K161 was scheduled to depart Changi Airport at 11.20pm on Friday (Dec 22) and arrive at Darwin at 5.20am the next day.

In an email to Channel NewsAsia, Jetstar Group spokesperson Robin Goh said that the aircraft was taxiing towards the runway for take-off when the captain decided to return to the gate.

Three passengers were involved in the dispute, in which verbal threats were made, he said, adding that local authorities took custody of the passengers involved at the gate.

Channel NewsAsia understands that the dispute happened between a 47-year-old Australian man and a 55-year-old Filipino-Australian.

The argument started when the Filipino-Australian told the Australian that he should have his phone switched off.

As the dispute became more heated, the cabin crew decided to call in police for help.

Police said they were alerted to a case of public nuisance on board a flight at 11.26pm.

A female passenger claimed she heard the word "bomb" used during the argument. However, she is believed to have misheard the word as no other passengers heard the word being used.

Both men, along with the 55-year-old man's wife, who was also involved in the dispute, eventually alighted the plane and are currently still in Singapore.

Police said that two men, aged 47 and 55, are assisting with investigations.

Goh said the flight eventually resumed at 7.15am on Saturday, more than eight hours after the plane was scheduled to originally depart from Singapore.

Meal vouchers were distributed to all customers due to the delay, said Goh. Additionally, families with young children were granted lounge access for greater comfort.

"We take safety and security seriously and we don't tolerate threats or disruptive behaviour by passengers on our flights," he added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK