31 Dec AirAsia jets in fresh incidents in Thailand, Philippines

Written by AFP Published in Regional Read 3204 times
Since Sunday, at least four flight mishaps have taken place in Southeast Asia, including the tragic loss of an AirAsia flight in the Java Sea off Indonesia. Passengers look on as an AirAsia aircraft taxis at Changi Airport in Singapore, December 29, 2014. Photo: Francis R Malasig/EPA
Since Sunday, at least four flight mishaps have taken place in Southeast Asia, including the tragic loss of an AirAsia flight in the Java Sea off Indonesia. Passengers look on as an AirAsia aircraft taxis at Changi Airport in Singapore, December 29, 2014. Photo: Francis R Malasig/EPA

As search and rescue teams scouring the Java Sea for the missing AirAsia flight began picking up bodies on Tuesday, fresh aircraft incidents have been reported in Thailand and the Philippines.

An AirAsia flight bound for northeast Thailand turned back to the capital Bangkok shortly after takeoff Tuesday when pilots detected an "irregularity" in the storage compartment, airline officials said.

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 local time.

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 Ms Nida Gregas confirmed to AFP that there were no injuries and all 153 passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the aircraft.

Media reports indicate at least 40 bodies have been recovered from the sea in the search for missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501, quoting the Indonesian navy.

© AFP, plus other media sources

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 16:10