Ms Bushney, who was flying to meet her boyfriend in France and trying to sleep at the back of the plane, has claimed that head steward Mohammed Rosli Bin Ab Karim approached her three hours after take-off.

She has said that Mr Rosli, 54, had sat beside her and allegedly began massaging her legs. She claims he later assaulted her, taking advantage of her fear of flying.

Malaysia Airlines has responded with a public statement acknowledging that a cabin crew member had been detained in France over the sexual assault allegations.

 “Malaysia Airlines can confirm that following allegations by a passenger travelling on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris on 4th August 2014 of inappropriate sexual behaviour by a member of the cabin crew, the member of staff in question has been detained for questioning by the French police,” it said.

Speaking to Channel Seven’s Sunday Night programme, Ms Bushney said: “‘I just keep saying ‘Why didn’t I scream, why didn’t I shout?’ I am a strong person because I can do that, I know I can. But when I was in the moment, I couldn’t. I felt so scared and petrified.”

Although she was moved to a first class seat and received a visit from the captain, Ms Bushney claims that the airline staff made no effort to keep Mr Rosli away from her.

In a phone recording she made, which played on Channel Seven, Ms Bushney can be seen asking him why he assaulted her, and Mr Rosli can be seen and heard begging for forgiveness, saying “I am so sorry; I am so sorry ma’am.”

Image credit: Getty