While it has long been customary for new vehicles of all shapes and sizes to be blessed by a priest prior to their inaugural journey, a German man travelling on a KM Malta Airlines flight on the new national airline’s first day of operation has ‘baptised’ the plane with an entirely different sort of liquid.

Andreas Heinze, a 49-year-old German national travelling from Berlin to Malta on Sunday night – KM Malta Airlines’ first day of service – was hauled to court on Tuesday (today), where he admitted to relieving himself on the airplane’s carpeted floors.

The court heard how he had asked to use the bathroom while the seatbelt sign was on. He was initially refused, but became hostile and refused to listen.

The crew therefore asked him to take a seat in the back row of the aircraft, and told him that he would be able to use the bathroom in around five minutes.

Instead, Mr Heinze opted to urinate where he stood, turning his body to the side in an attempt to conceal his actions. However, passengers seated in the row opposite had a clear view of what he was doing.

He was immediately arrested upon the flight’s arrival in Malta, after which he continued to exhibit what police termed “abnormal behaviour”. Tests taken at Mater Dei Hospital showed that Mr Heinze was under the influence of alcohol.

Magistrate Joseph Gatt found the accused guilty by his own admission, sentencing him to a three-month prison term, suspended for three years.

He also warned Mr Heinze to behave “like an altar boy – not even, like a saint, because if you make another mistake you will go to jail.”

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