AirAsia Zest plane swerves off Kalibo runway
MANILA, Philippines – Operations at the Kalibo International airport were temporarily halted on Thursday afternoon, December 19, after an aircraft of AirAsia Zest that was bound for for Pudong, China, swerved off the runway.
The aircraft was carrying 137 passengers and 7 crew members, but no one was injured, said an aviation official.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued a NOTAM (notice to airman) closing Kalibo Airport for operations at 3:51 pm after the incident.
CAAP said the AirAsia Zest plane was making a 180-degree turn in preparation for its take off at 3:44 pm, but instead skidded off the runway. CAAP is investigating the cause of the incident.
Five flights were affected by the airport closure:
- Seair Flight 7056 from Manila to Kalibo
- Cebu Pacific flight 5J 343
- Zest Air Z2 272
- AirPhil flight 2P975
- Seair 740 from Clark to Kalibo
CAAP deputy director general Captain John Andrews said in a phone interview with Rappler that operations at the Kalibo airport resumed at 5:20 pm.
The temporary closure of the Kalibo airport due to a stalled aircraft was not the first incident for the year.
On August 26, operations at the Kalibo airport were also halted after a Tiger Airways Philippines plane got stalled at the end of runway 05.
ZestAir’s permit to fly or Airline Operators Certificate (AOC) was suspended by CAAP on August 16 for violations of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulation (PCAR).
The suspension, which affected some 8,000 passengers,was lifted 3 days later.
AirAsia Zest is the rebranded name of AirAsia Philippines and Zest Airways Incorporated of former Ambassador Alfredo Yao after the two firms entered into an agreement last March 11.
AirAsia Philippines completed the acquisition of an 85% stake and 49% voting rights in ZestAir in May. – Rappler.com