A Tigerair flight departing Macau for Singapore on Tuesday (Nov 8) had to turn back to Macau due to an engine issue which affected cabin pressure, reported Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News.
It was the third incident in four days for the airline. On Saturday (Nov 5), a 'bird strike' caused a flight from Hong Kong to turn back, while on Monday (Nov 7) passengers experienced a five-hour delay at Changi Airport due to two switches in aircraft.
Flight TR2905, with 172 passengers on board, departed Macau at around 7pm (Macau time) on Tuesday and encountered engine issues in mid-air, forcing it to return to the airport.
One of the passengers, Ms Siew Foong Janet Lee, posted on Facebook about her experience on the plane on Wednesday at 1.10am.
In the post, she said the plane took off at about 6.50pm but the left engine "shook violently" 15 minutes into the journey. She added that there were "bright sparks visible" outside the window and "the captain then announced he was returning to Macau after dumping fuel". After landing, the passengers "remained seated in the plane while the Engineers (sic) checked the engine".
She then wrote that they were transferred back to the airport, "given a simple meal and then ferried to Sheraton Macau to stay the night". The post included pictures of the hotel and the faulty plane.
A subsequent Facebook post from the passenger on Wednesday at 4.42pm indicated that she was due to land in Singapore.
According to Shin Min's report, the plane turned back in the direction of Hong Kong after 20 minutes and circled about 10 times before heading back to the airport.
Another passenger told Shin Min that passengers applauded in relief when the plane landed, and emergency vehicles were at the scene of the landing. She also added that they were well taken care of by the airline.
A Tigerair statement confirmed that the flight which departed on Nov 8 at 7.01pm was turned back to Macau "due to an issue with the engine which also affected cabin pressurisation".
It added that "guests on board were updated over the public announcement system on the situation and landing time" and "the flight landed safely at 8.42pm".
It also said that arrangements were made for a replacement aircraft and engineers were working on "rectifying the issue".