SINGAPORE, A Jetstar flight from Singapore to Australia was delayed after police were called in to deal with an escalating dispute among three passengers over a phone, The Straits Times reported yesterday.

The report said Jetstar flight 3K161 was supposed to have departed Singapore at 11.20 pm on Friday (Dec 22) and arrived in Darwin at 5.20 am on Saturday.

Instead, it was delayed and departed Singapore only around 7.15am on Saturday, it said.

Quoting Jetstar Group spokesman Robin Goh, The Straits Times reported that the plane returned to the gate while taxiing at Changi Airport on Friday.

The report said that the dispute arose when an in-flight announcement was made for passengers to switch off their phones.

The Straits Times reported that a 55-year-old man, believed to be Filipino-Australian, told his neighbour, a 47-year-old Australian man, that he should turn off his phone.

The pair of them, along with the 55-year-old's wife, got into a heated argument, and the cabin crew told them that they would have to alight from the plane if they did not resolve their dispute.

According to the report, the police were called in when the quarrel escalated.

The situation was further exacerbated when another passenger thought she heard one of the men say the word "bomb".

However, she was the only one who appeared who have heard the word. There was, in fact, no bomb, said the online news.

The two men, aged 47 and 55, are assisting in police investigations, said the report.