Kuala Lumpur airport replaces faulty equipment but still experiences some delays

A man watches Malaysia Airlines planes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A man watches Malaysia Airlines planes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA - The operator of Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Friday (Aug 23) identified network failure as the cause of the disruptions that have hit the airport since Wednesday (Aug 21).

Airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad said in a statement on Friday that it had replaced the network equipment as part of the steps taken to resolve the problem, and that it was currently being tested and closely monitored for stability.

Malaysia Airports group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said there had been progress in network stability since the network equipment was replaced.

"Critical systems at KLIA main terminal are now mostly up and running," he said in the statement. "Nevertheless, we have adopted a cautious approach and will remain vigilant as we are still experiencing some intermittent issues."

In the first-ever disruption of its airport management system, operations at KLIA came to a halt for hours on Wednesday night, with scores of flights delayed and thousands of passengers left stranded and frustrated.

The disruption brought down the flight information display, check-in counters, baggage handling and Wi-Fi connection.

The interruptions continued the following day and were yet to be fully resolved on Friday, with the airport authorities advising passengers to be at the terminal four hours before their departure to ensure they made their flight in time.

It urged passengers to arrive at the airport early and check-in via their respective airlines' mobile app or website.

The airport operator did not provide an update on the number of flights that had been delayed in its statement, but The Star reported that at least 68 flights had seen delays since Thursday (Aug 22) night.

Mr Raja Azmi said on Friday that the KLIA's main terminal was still experiencing some delays, but "the situation is improving due to measures that have been put in place".

The operator said it was managing the flight cancellations and delays by utilising all 38 remote bays at the KLIA main terminal to cater to aircraft that were not able to proceed to the scheduled gates, as well as providing additional buses and ground-handling services to facilitate passenger movement.

It added that it has extended operating hours at all its other airports nationwide to cater to delayed flights from Kuala Lumpur, and also deployed 1,000 additional staff to assist passengers on the ground.

The additional manpower will remain in place until the situation is back to normal, it said.