A passenger on an international flight from the Philippines to Sydney has been charged after allegedly punching a fellow passenger in the face repeatedly as he tried to sleep, police say.
The 36-year-old man, from Kiama on the NSW south coast, was arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers who were on the flight from Manila on Friday night.
The AFP said in a statement that the man, from Kiama, did not know his alleged victim before he approached him and punched him multiple times in the face.
On the third strike, the passenger tried to block the punch and yelled to the crew for help, the AFP said, and officers who were on the flight detained the man until the plane landed in Sydney.
The alleged victim suffered cuts and bruises to his face, and received medical treatment from a doctor who was on the flight.
The man was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and obstructing a territory official.
"The AFP will not tolerate this type of behaviour. Aviation safety is a serious matter, and abusive behaviour poses a serious risk to the travelling public," Michael Chew, the AFP's manager of aviation, said.
"Those who behave violently on board aircrafts can expect to be charged."
The Kiama man has been bailed to appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on September 30.