Tuesday, December 30, 2014 2:23 pm
Later on Tuesday, another AirAsia jet — this time in the Philippines — skidded off the runway on arrival at a popular resort island, causing no injuries but shutting the small airport, the airline and police confirmed.
The incidents come as search teams spotted wreckage and bodies in the sea presumed to be from an AirAsia jet that vanished in a storm Sunday en route from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people aboard.
AirAsia Flight FD3254 returned to Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport soon after departing for Khon Kaen at 11.10 am (0410 GMT).
It was allowed to resume service after engineers ruled out any technical problems.
“After departure from Don Mueang, the pilots detected a minor irregularity in the storage area, thus in the interest of safety the flight returned to land at Don Mueang Airport for a detailed inspection,” said Thai AirAsia in a statement.
“Engineers did not discover any issues compromising the safety of flight FD3254,” it said.
No passengers cancelled their flights and the plane arrived at its destination an hour behind schedule, officials said.
An AirAsia spokesman at Don Mueang Airport said the pilots turned back after “hearing some noise in the luggage compartment”. He could not confirm the reason for the noise.
Around two hours later a Thai Airways Airbus A340-600 from Bangkok to London was forced to return to the Thai capital shortly after take off, after the pilot reported a technical problem.
“The plane had a problem with the hydraulic system, as a result the pilot decided to fly back to Suvarnabhumi Airport,” according to a Thai Airways statement.
In the Philippines, AirAsia Flight Z2272, which was flying from Manila overshot the runway in Kalibo airport as it landed in bad weather on the tourist island of Boracay on Tuesday afternoon.
Police spokeswoman Nida Gregas confirmed to AFP that there were no injuries and all 153 passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the aircraft.
Meanwhile, AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes Tuesday expressed his grief to the relatives of the 162 passengers and crew who were on board Flight QZ8501 after wreckage and bodies were spotted at sea.
“My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ8501. On behalf of AirAsia my condolences to all. Words cannot express how sorry I am,” he wrote on Twitter.
Fernandes said he was rushing to Surabaya in Indonesia, where the plane took off on Sunday bound for Singapore and where relatives have gathered.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of our passengers and colleagues on board QZ8501,” his Malaysia-based airline said in a statement.