Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Stranded for 36 hours, AirAsia X passengers finally depart for Australia

After being stranded in Bali for nearly 36 hours, more than 300 passengers of AirAsia X flight D7206 resumed their journey to the Gold Coast at 2.30pm local time. AirAsia X Bhd said the flight, which departed from Kuala Lumpur on February 15 with 347 passengers on board, was forced to divert twice due to two separate medical emergencies. In the first instance, the plane diverted to Denpasar, Bali because a passenger on board required medical assistance, AirAsia X said. The aircraft departed from Denpasar at 2.30am local time on February 16, but had to turn back due to a second medical emergency. The aircraft arrived in Denpasar at 5.26am local time and was originally scheduled to depart at 11pm that night. "However, the departure from Denpasar did not take place as scheduled as three passengers failed to re-board the flight. "The subsequent scheduled evening airport closure prevented the aircraft from departing at a later time that evening," AirAsia X said in a statement. Dr Philip Koshy, whose nephew was on the flight, told The Malaysian Insider that the situation at the airport had been "chaotic and disorganised". He said his nephew informed him that AirAsia staff had provided the passengers with hotel arrangements in Bali yesterday. But by 8pm last night, the passengers returned to the airport to catch the 11pm flight, only to find themselves stranded for hours near immigration, he said. "At 2am this morning, my nephew contacted me again saying Immigration was not allowing them to board the flight and they just had to wait for more hours, without any information. "They were not able to return to the hotel. I don't think they were properly taken care of, nobody had any idea what was going on. "My nephew was very frustrated because he had to go back to Gold Coast for work. But he couldn't do anything all day yesterday and today," said Koshy. On Twitter, social media users claiming to be passengers of the flight also expressed their anger over the situation. "@AirAsia what an appalling service . Flight d7206 . Stuck in Bali for nearly 24 hours with no food or water," tweeted Rose-marie Christian @rosie_christian. Ashley Cripps @ashley_veejay wrote, "@tonyfernandes AK staff at Bali are so bad. Been stuck here due med emergency for 24 hours. On and off the plane, we are sick of it! #D7206" However, AirAsia X said passengers were attended to by ground staff and were provided with entry visas, meals, transfers and hotel arrangements in Bali. "The safety, comfort and medical needs of our guests are AirAsia's priority and we strive to provide as much assistance as possible in these circumstances," it said. – February 17, 2016.]]>

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