Two people were arrested for endangering the lives of passengers on a flight into Southend airport.

The man and a woman are alleged to have become loud and abusive during the flight from Faro in Portugal, which had already been delayed seven hours due to technical difficulties.

They were hauled off the plane as it touched down at the airport at 7.30pm on Saturday and were later given police cautions.

A fellow passenger, who asked not to be named, told the local Echo newspaper: “Not only did we have to suffer a seven-hour delay due to technical difficulties, but we had to endure two drunk passengers, who were loud, using abusive language and causing a disturbance to other passengers.

“After numerous attempts by the cabin crew to quieten them down, they continued shouting, annoying passengers, slapping the cabin crew on their backsides as they passed the cabin.

“Many people on board had to complete witness statements. We sat on the runway at Southend and police boarded the plane and arrested the pair.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Two people were arrested after landing at Southend airport at 7.30pm on January 3. A 23-year-old woman from Harwich and a 42-year-old man from Redbridge were arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft.

“They later received cautions for using threatening or abusive words towards a member of the crew.”

A spokesman for the airline said: “EasyJet can confirm flight EZY7362 flying from Faro to Southend was met by the police on arrival due to the disruptive behaviour of a passenger on board. The flight was previously delayed leaving Faro due to a technical fault with the aircraft.

“The safety and wellbeing of customers and crew is always our highest priority. We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused by the delay and disruptive passenger.

“EasyJet does not tolerate any abusive or threatening behaviour on board and on the rare occasion an incident occurs, crew are trained to deal with the situation.”