A FIJI Airways flight from Melbourne to Nadi last Saturday was delayed after baggage handlers at Melbourne Airport discovered smoke being emitted from luggage that was being prepared to be loaded onto the aircraft.
Airline managing director and CEO Stefan Pichler said as a result of the incident, a passenger had to be offloaded from the flight.
"The discovery was made after Fiji Airways contracted baggage handling company found smoke being emitted from his luggage during loading," he said.
"The baggage handlers personnel and Fiji Airways crew then followed proper protocols and alerted the relevant agencies, including the Melbourne Airport Safety & Security Agency."
Mr Pichler emphasised the national carrier would always place the safety of passengers as a priority and the aircraft resumed operations after it was cleared to fly.
"The flight had to be delayed after the crew ran out of operating hours while handling the situation.
"Fiji Airways understands that the passenger is under investigation from Australian Federal Police and other relevant Australian agencies.
"The Melbourne-Nadi flight operated the next day. There was no damage to the aircraft."