On March 6th, 2023, a Turkish Airlines flight travelling from Istanbul to Barcelona was forced to return to Istanbul due to an unusual smell coming from the cargo hold. The source of the smell was later discovered to be a shipment of durian fruit.
Durian is a fruit known for its spiky exterior and strong, pungent odour. The fruit’s odour is so strong that it has been banned from certain public transportation systems and hotels in some parts of the world.
The flight had taken off from Istanbul when passengers started to complain about a strong smell coming from the cargo hold. The crew investigated and determined that the smell was coming from the shipment of durian fruit.
The captain made the decision to return the flight to Istanbul, where the cargo was removed from the plane. The passengers were then rebooked onto another flight to Barcelona.
This is not the first time durian has caused issues on a flight. In 2018, an Indonesian plane was delayed for an hour after passengers complained about the strong smell of durian fruit being transported on the plane. In 2019, a shipment of durian caused a flight delay in Germany.
Despite the controversy surrounding its odour, durian remains a popular fruit in Southeast Asia, with many people willing to brave its strong smell for the sweet, creamy flesh inside.