48 flights at Sibu Airport cancelled after runway incident

A photo of the plane posted to Facebook. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/MUHD BADRUL AMAN

SIBU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BERNAMA) - A total of 48 flights involving nearly 4,000 passengers have been cancelled on Sunday (April 9) after Sibu Airport was closed for the day for investigation into a skidding incident.

Twenty-eight MASwings flights, 16 AirAsia and four Malaysia Airlines with a combined 3,787 passengers were called off, Airport manager Zainuddin Abu Nasir told reporters.

The closure was ordered after MAS Flight MH2718 skidded upon landing at the Sibu Airport at 10.17pm on Saturday after a downpour.

The flights would have left for or arrived from Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Bintulu, Miri and Kuching.

"The airlines involved have made the decision to cancel their flights," said Zainuddin.

"We expect the operations at the Sibu Airport to return to normal by 8pm once works to remove the aircraft is completed," he said.

In a statement earlier on Sunday, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd said the closure is to allow investigation into the incident and to carry out repair works to the aircraft.

The initial plan was to close the airport until 10am Sunday.

The Boeing 737-800 aircraft was carrying 61 passengers and six crew members when it skidded and landed in an awkward position during a downpour.

All on board safely disembarked via two slide rafts. No injuries have been reported.

The cause of the incident is being investigated by the Department of Civil Aviation.

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