Malaysia Airlines apologises after Alice Springs emergency landing, will fly passengers out

Flight MH122 was travelling from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur with 224 passengers and made a safe emergency landing at an Australian airfield.
Flight MH122 was travelling from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur with 224 passengers and made a safe emergency landing at an Australian airfield. PHOTO: REUTERS

ALICE SPRINGS - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said on Friday (Jan 19) that it will provide an aircraft to fly its passengers in Alice Springs to Kuala Lumpur, after one of its jets made an emergency landing at an airfield in the Australian desert town on Thursday.

The airlines chief executive Capt Izham Ismail has apologised for the incident. MAS said it was "working very hard" to connect passengers with their onward flights once they reach Kuala Lumpur's international airport.

Media reports say 224 passengers on Flight MH122 were travelling from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur when the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Alice Springs. There were no reports of any injury.

"All affected passengers have been given hotel accommodation, meals and transportation. Passengers will be transferred from Alice Springs to Kuala Lumpur on MH148/ 19 January 2018. The flight is scheduled to depart Alice Springs at 5.45pm and is expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 9.50pm the same day," the airline said in a statement.

"Malaysia Airlines is also working very hard to reallocate passengers with onward connections on to the next available flights to their destination," it added. "Safety at all times is Malaysia Airlines' number one priority.

The passengers on board Flight MH122 were on Thursday told to brace themselves for impact as the jet was about to make the emergency landing due to engine trouble, ABC News reported on Friday.

One of the Airbus A330-300 engines was shut down and the plane turned back to Alice Spring.

Passenger Hugh Wolton told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that there was "very violent shaking" of the plane that lasted about five minutes and appeared to be coming from one of the engines.

"And it wasn't like normal turbulence, it was very violent shaking of the plane which caused quite a stir," he said.

Said MAS's Captain Izham, as quoted the Malay Mail Online news site: “I apologise to all our guests over the incident and understand the anxiety experienced.

“Based on reports received, there was a loud bang heard from the left hand engine. This was followed by a warning indicator which appeared on the electronic aircraft monitoring system.

“The captain then requested for the cabin crew to prepare for a normal landing. There was no chaos reported in the cabin,” he said in a statement.

Passenger Naveen Henri had told ABC News: "I think it was a bit of a shock to the system, but I think all kudos to the staff and crew who did manage to support the passengers and handle the situation well."

He added: "(We were a bit scared) after hearing so many stories about what's happening in air travel at the moment and at the same time what's happened to Malaysia Airlines not so long ago."

MAS Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down in July 2014 over war-torn Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

And in March the same year, MH370 was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared with 239 people on board.