As smoke from the cigarette wafted through the cabin igniting chaos amongst fellow passengers, five crew members rushed to the man to control the situation.
The tipsy traveller who had been drinking at the onboard bar for at least three hours was overheard insisting he had ‘forgotten he was on a plane’ and he would ‘have a chat with the captain to apologise’.
A packet of cigarettes was found in his seat pocket with one partially smoked. The man was restrained on the aircraft as others disembarked
One passenger from Greater Manchester who was sitting in the row ahead, but who asked not to be named, told the Manchester Evening News : “This guy was a drunken buffoon. Everybody was disgusted.
“I fly 150,000 miles a year and have never seen anyone light up on a plane.
“This has really hacked me off. These kinds of people need restricting from travelling with the general public because they are a nuisance.
“Emirates also should have told this man to stop drinking.”
He said the man, who was in his early fifties, drank steadily in the hours after take-off at 9.20pm and leading up to the incident.
He added: “He was basically hammered. Lairy, chatting up a woman across from him. He had a very loud Manchester accent.
“He was at the bar for ages and then at one point I came back from the toilet and he was in his seat with his shirt off. Who does that on a flight?
“Then there was smoke in the cabin after the captain announced we were landing.
“I imagine this guy is still stuck in the Middle East, I imagine he will have been banned by Emirates and I doubt another carrier would take him.”
A spokesman for Emirates said: “Emirates can confirm that on flight EK020 from Manchester to Dubai on 9 December, an intoxicated passenger had to be restrained by cabin crew. The aircraft was met by security upon landing at Dubai airport. The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance and will not be compromised.”