Darwin - An Australian man whose fit of drunken air rage forced the diversion of his international flight, was fined on Thursday and ordered to pay costs arising from the aircraft's unscheduled landing.

Michael Edward Donovan was told he was lucky not to be jailed over the incident on a Singapore Airlines flight between Singapore and Brisbane last July.

The Boeing 777-200, carrying 298 passengers and 14 crew, was diverted to Darwin after Donovan, 41, from Queensland state, abused cabin crew and demanded more alcohol about two hours after takeoff.

He later told police he was upset because he had had "a bad holiday in Egypt".

He pleaded guilty to behaving in an offensive manner and was given a A$750 (about R3 600) fine but prosecutors dropped a second charge of making threats on board aircraft, which can carry a 12-month jail term.

Magistrate Greg Cavanagh expressed surprise that the more serious charge was not pursued and said he would have considered jailing Donovan if he had had the option.