Two passengers were removed from a Southampton to La Rochelle flight after they used felt-tipped pend to write on the body of their aircraft.

The women were scheduled to travel to France on a Flybe flight last week.

But the captain saw them drawing with marker pens on the body of the aircraft and other equipment as they boarded and they were ordered off the flight.

The airline said they were removed “for the protection of passengers and crew”. The women were questioned but were not arrested by police.

A Flybe spokeswoman told the Southern Daily Echo: “Immediately prior to and during boarding, the captain of the above flight witnessed two passengers writing with felt pens on two items of equipment that included the body of the aircraft.

“In the interest of maintaining safety and security for the protection of its passengers and crew, Flybe has a zero tolerance policy towards any potential criminal behaviour.

“The incidents were therefore reported to the authorities who attended the aircraft and took the perpetrators away for questioning.

“The aircraft then departed on schedule.”