Qantas has confirmed the airline sacked a flight attendant who is accused of exposing himself to a colleague mid-air.
A 54-year-old NSW man will face Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday via audio link from Sydney after being charged by the Australian Federal Police late last year with one count of committing an act of indecency.
It is alleged the man exposed himself to a female co-worker on-board a Qantas flight from Perth to Melbourne in April 2019.
Police will allege the woman sent text messages while still on the flight to a friend about the man’s behaviour and her distress before reporting the incident to police when she returned to Perth several days later.
A Qantas spokesperson confirmed the man’s employment was terminated after an internal investigation.
“As soon as this incident was reported we immediately conducted a workplace investigation and terminated his employment,” Qantas told NCA NewsWire in a statement.
“We have zero tolerance for any form of harassment. Everyone has the right to feel safe and respected when they come to work.”
The man first faced court in March this year, but the case was delayed due to COVID-19. The maximum penalty for his alleged offence is seven years imprisonment if convicted.
AFP Senior Constable Steve Proud said there was no excuse for offensive behaviour in any workplace, but unwanted attention could be particularly distressing on a flight, where people were confined in a limited space.
“This case should serve as a warning to people that illegal behaviour in the air will be prosecuted on the ground,” Constable Proud said.
“There is no excuse for these actions on an aircraft or anywhere else – everyone is entitled to be free from harassment, unwanted attention or indecent acts.”
Anyone with information about this matter, or anyone who wants to report an incident of sexual harassment during a flight is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.