PETALING JAYA: A Malaysia Airlines flight bound for New Zealand came to “a juddering halt” on two consecutive days last week, unsettling passengers, who are demanding the national carrier apologise over the incident.
One passenger told the New Zealand Herald that flight MH145D was about to take off on New Year’s Day when the pilot allegedly stopped the plane, causing the passengers to lurch forward.
One passenger was so stressed, the New Zealand daily reported, that an ambulance was called.
Serjit Singh, of Red Beach in New Zealand, told the daily that as the plane skidded to a stop, another was coming in to land and he thought it was going to crash into them.
“The ordeal was harrowing,” he was quoted as saying.
The flight was subsequently aborted with passengers booked on another flight the next day, on the same plane.
But, despite an assurance from the new crew that the “plane is great”, it again came to a halt before it took off.
The passengers then confronted Malaysia Airlines staff, who said the issue was being fixed. They also refused to get on the same plane.
“We are not to be used as crash test dummies. This was the collective view of the entire flight,” Serjit was quoted by the Herald as saying.
An hour later, he said, Malaysia Airlines told them they would be taking off in a new plane. They landed in Auckland at 6.30am on Jan 3.
Serjit is furious about how Malaysia Airlines treated the passengers and said those who were not in business class were forced to spend hours at the gate.
He also claimed that no senior person from the carrier addressed the issue or was seen managing the issue during the entire ordeal.
He demanded an apology from the airline.
The New Zealand Herald has contacted Malaysia Airlines for a response but has yet to receive one.