AirAsia plane skids at Kuching airport. (Courtesy of AirAsia Facebook)
AirAsia plane skids at Kuching airport (The Star)
By Shaun Ho
KUALA LUMPUR: An AirAsia flight to Kuching skidded off the runway Monday night and landed on the grass verge, leaving four passengers with minor injuries.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said flight AK5218, an Airbus A320, was carrying 124 passengers and six crew members.
"The plane was landing during a downpour and that is when it skidded," he said Tuesday.
Kong said the plane had landed on soft soil on the edge of the runway. AirAsia and Kuching International Airport staff are working to remove the plane for checks.
As a result of the incident, services at the airport have been was disrupted, with up to 11 flights to the airport affected.
"I expect services at the airport to resume by noon," he said after opening the National Maritime Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
AirAsia Group Chief Executive Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes tweeted: "Working hard to remove aircraft. All passengers are home."
Kuching airport closed temporarily (The Star)
KUCHING: The Kuching International Airport has been closed Tuesday until further notice, a Malaysia Airports Bhd statement said.
This is becaused of an incident Monday night, when an AirAsia aircraft (flight AK5218 from Kuala Lumpur), skidded and veered off the airport's runway 25, when landing at 10.02 during heavy rain.
All passengers were evacuated safely from the aircraft.
Efforts to remove the aircraft Tuesday were hampered by continuous heavy rains.
All AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines flights from the airport have been effected.
Passengers are advised to contact their airline's offices to enquire about their flight status.
The real-time experience by one of the passengers on-board.
ADUN had narrow escape when plane skidded (Sarawak Update)
KUCHING – An Air Asia aircraft that carry 124 passengers that include an ADUN and his wife, skidded from the runway of Kuching International Airport at 10.15 pm last night.
The passengers were panic when they saw smoke billowing from the aircraft engine.
Passengers were screaming and crying in the plane as they waited for the emergency doors to be opened which the air-hostess appeared to be slow in doing it.
Passengers all rushed to the exit doors and flee from the plane.
Four panic passengers, one of them a male were rushed to the Sarawak General Hospital at midnight due to the incident.
All the passengers were drenched to the skin while waiting for help in the runway.
The plane AK2518 made a bad start when it was delayed for one hour at the KLIA. It departed to Kuching at 8.30 pm.
An angry passenger, Ling said the plane from KL was supposed to land at 10 pm at Kuching International Airport but they landed in the grass verge amid pouring rain at the time.
He said the pilot announced that there was drizzling in Kuching 10 minutes before landing and when they were about to land, they saw it was pouring heavily.
A passenger who did not wanted to be identified said their ordeal were not over yet as they got out of the plane as they were forced to wait over an hour at the grass verge in heavy downpour with women and children.
He said he was upset as help seemed to be slow and a bus later arrived. The bus was able to ferry 20 passengers each time with women and children getting on first.
He said a few passengers were too scared to even walk. Some of the passengers who got impatient with waiting walked towards the arrival hall.
Despite seeing vehicles driving towards the plane and trying to wave them down, none bothered to stop.
Snowdon Lawan, Balai Ringin and his wife who were among the passengers lamented at the poor services given at the airport.
A passenger said when they reached the arrival hall at the airport drenched to the skin, there was no towel or hot drinks for them. Most of the passengers, he said were shivering and shaking with cold and fear.
Due to the mishap at the runway, an AirAsia plane from Kota Kinabalu, AK6037 meant to land at 10.25 pm transit to Singapore.
Another from JB AK5840 meant to arrive at 22.05 pm flew to KL. A flight AK6038 leaving to KK at 10.55 pm was cancelled.
Two of MAS flights were also diverted. One was MH2530 arriving from KL at 10.45 pm while MH 2534 from KL expected to arrive at 11.59 were diverted.
A tweet from AirAsia claimed that KIA has been temporarily closed down due to the unfortunate accident.
The latest tweet by @tonyfernandes at 2:18 pm - Good progress on moving plane. Plane should be cleared in 90 mins. We are trying to ensure everyone who wants to go to kuching will go. Good cooperation from MAB and MAS. Thank you
More to come.
Metzelder says: It is a clear reason why you should not choose this budget airline as your preferred airline choice. This incident doesn't cause any causalities but who can guarantee this will not happen again.
Looking back with so many complaints against them, they should really take a chance to restructure them and not just lobbying for new routes from Government.
Secondly based from the article of Sarawak Update, it reflects Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) is doing a poor job in helping the victims getting out from the airplane and treatment while at arrival hall of so called 'Kuching International Airport'.
I come across a detail report of the past accident happened involving AirAsia.
Its time to check the operations, in detail (WordPress)
These landing mishaps happen far too frequent for this airline. On 19 March 2007, KCH saw flight operation disruptions because of the same problem, by the same airline.
On 9 Nov 2004, AK 106 skidded of the runway during landing at BKI.
Disrupted flight operations took two days to normalise. Disruptions cause a lot money. Especially when an airline’s business is dependent on the minimal turnaround time as one of the KPIs.
KCH, March 2007
Every time these accidents happened, Malaysia Airlines ground handling and engineering are asked to resolve the stranded-aircraft-of-the-runaway. This is because AirAsia has no adequate engineering facility at these airports and the disruptions also adversely affected Malaysia Airlines operations.
Its time for Department of Civil Aviation to go through operations and safety procedures of AirAsia. Too much at stake. Somebody should pay for the losses of business incurred by Malaysia Airlines and Malaysia Airports. Then again AirAsia was reluctant to settle their dues with Malaysia Airports.
Never fly with AirAsia!!