The flight was held up when passengers held their noses and refused to board the plane, the BBC reported. Some passengers nearly came to blows with crew members as they argued against getting into the aircraft, according to the Jakarta Post.
"The durian smell has been described as a mix of an onion-like sulfury aroma with notes of sweet fruitiness and savory soup-seasoning. A key component of the durian smell are volatile sulfur compounds, or VSCs, which have been characterized as decaying, onion-like, rotten eggs, sulfury and fried shallots," geneticist Bin Tean Teh told Reuters in a 2017 interview.
"Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane," Sriwijaya Air official Abdul Rahim told national television station Kompas TV on Tuesday.
Rahim blamed the unusually hot weather in Indonesia for the offensive aroma.
"We made the necessary precautions, such as putting in pandan leaves and coffee powder to absorb the durian smell," Rahim said.
Airline officials decided to unload the fruit, and the plane took off for Jakarta an hour later, the BBC reported.