Uk based airlines easyJet
An easyJet passenger was punched by a staff member of Nice airport after the former tried inquiring about delay in flight - File photoiStock

An airport employee in France's Nice airport punched an easyJet passenger carrying a baby while he was complaining a delay in the flight and about the lack of childcare amenities at the airport.

The man, accompanied by his wife and child, were due to fly from Nice to London on easyJet flight 2122 on Saturday (29 July), but the flight was delayed for more than 14 hours.

EasyJet said that the accused was not their employee, rather was employed with the airport's special assistance provider Samsic.

Jean-François Guitard, a director at Nice airport, confirmed the incident to CNN and said that their employee hit the man after being unable to answer his queries on the easyJEt flight's delay.

"We had a serious problem with someone of staff from our subcontractor Samsic," Guitard said. He informed that the accused employee has been suspended.

"Clearly it is a misconduct situation. We apologise strongly about this situation regarding this passenger. There is no reason for a staff member to fight a passenger."

Meanwhile, a fellow passenger who photographed the incident and shared it on social media sites, told the news channel that her husband restrained the airport employee from getting more violent.

"The man with the baby ... went over and talked to the Frenchman and the Frenchman didn't reply, he just smiled and smirked and then whacked this guy on the left side of his face," Arabella Arkwright, 49, told BBC Radio 5 Live. "It was awful the whole thing. I just can't believe people can behave like that."

She added that the accused and the victim were both taken away by police. However, the victim returned on time to catch the delayed flight. She said the man had a mark from the punch on his face.
EasyJet, Europe's budget airlines, expressed concern about the incident and apologised for the flight's delay, which they blamed on technical snag.

"EasyJet is very concerned to see this picture and can confirm the person in the photo is not an EasyJet member of staff and they do not work for EasyJet's ground handling agents in Nice," the statement read, referring to the photographs circulating online.

"We are urgently taking this up with Nice Airport and their special assistance provider Samsic who we understand the person photographed works for."

The airlines added that another aircraft was arranged to fly the passengers to London and the plane landed at Luton airport safely.