Cebu Pacific flight bound for Singapore makes emergency landing at Kota Kinabalu airport
KOTA KINABALU – A Cebu Pacific Air A320 Airbus had to make an emergency landing at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah after a suspected problem with the aircraft’s engine late on Wednesday.
It is believed that the plane, which took off from Cebu in the Philippines at 7:55 pm with 92 crew members and passengers, and was scheduled to land in Singapore that night, encountered problems with its left engine during the flight.
The pilot then proceeded to make an emergency landing in Kota Kinabalu at about 10:20 pm. The plane was in the air for just under two hours, around half the usual flight time from Cebu to Singapore, according to data from flight trackers.
A Singaporean passenger on the flight told Lianhe Zaobao that the 30 minutes it took for the plane to make the forced landing was the most frightening period in his life. The civil servant said the left engine appeared to be emitting sparks, and the aircraft seemed to be operating with just one functioning engine.
Sabah Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Farhan Sufyan Borhan said that the department was informed of the incident by the airport’s fire department at about 9:50 pm.
The department sent a team to the airport to assist the ground team.
All passengers and crew were safe after the plane landed at KKIA, and the Philippine airline arranged accommodation for the passengers in the city.
The budget carrier assured that the aircraft “safely landed” at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
“Our immediate priority was to ensure the safety of our passengers and personnel,” the Gokongwei-led airline said.
The onboarded passengers were “accommodated at a hotel to rest.”
“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience. Cebu Pacific is currently working on bringing the passengers to their intended destination,” it added. With a report from Tyrone Jasper C. Piad, Inquirer Business
First posted 11:17 am