The bizarre incident took place just as the China Eastern flight had finished taxiing to the drop-off area after landing safely at Sanya Fenghaung International airport.

It is unclear how the male passenger eventually made his departure, but according to Chinese media he explained to bewildered officials that he had opened the emergency exit because he was “eager to get out of the plane once it landed.”

He also claimed that as he had not listened to the pre-flight safety briefing he was therefore unaware that it was not permitted or usual to deploy the emergency slide at random. Ho hum…

Airport staff deflated the slide, but the incident still delayed passengers by two hours and is expected to cost the airline around £10,000 for repairs to the door and a new escape slide.

The latest incident comes just days after a Chinese woman scalded a Thai flight attendant by throwing hot water and noodles at her when she learned she would not be seated next to her boyfriend. The Thai AirAsia flight subsequently returned to Bangkok.