An airline passenger attempted to open the emergency exit door mid-air but was restrained by the cabin crew and handed over to the police once the flight landed safely.

The incident took place on a SpiceJet flight from India's capital Delhi to the city of Varanasi on Saturday afternoon. The passenger, identified as Gaurav, was reportedly walking around in the aircraft after the flight had taken off from the Delhi airport. He suddenly walked up to the exit door and attempted to open it mid-air.

The cabin crew managed to catch him and restrain him with the help of co-passengers for the remainder of the one-hour and 45-minute flight. The passenger was then handed over to the police at the Varanasi airport as soon as the plane landed safely.

"A passenger attempted to open an emergency exit door mid-air on a Delhi to Varanasi flight. Crew members stopped and held him till the flight made a safe landing at the airport. The pilot of the flight informed Air traffic control and requested landing on priority," a police officer said as per Hindustan Times. The officer added that the passenger seemed to be mentally ill.

The airline issued a statement regarding the incident. "An un-presidential incident happened on Saturday in Varanasi-bound SpiceJet flight. A passenger called Gaurav suddenly stood and went to the emergency door and tries to open the door on board when the aircraft was already airborne," Times Now News quoted a SpiceJet spokesperson as saying.

"Immediately, the female crew stopped the passenger with the help of co-passengers and restrained him till the flight landed safely at Varanasi airport. The crew immediately informed the captain who requested the Air Traffic Control (ATC) for a priority landing," the spokesperson said further.

The aviation regulatory body Director General of Civil Aviation is investigating the incident and the airline is yet to take a call to put the man on a no-fly list.

Opening an emergency exit door mid-air is next to impossible as the door becomes extremely heavy due to the aircraft's cabin pressure. The exit doors also have several latches to prevent them from opening mid-air.

SpiceJet Limited, India
In this photo, a SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 aircraft taxis on the tarmac after landing at Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport in Mumbai on Nov. 26, 2012. Reuters/Danish Siddiqui