Bohol airport reopens after removal of stalled AirAsia Zest plane
MANILA, Philippines—The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines reopened the Tagbilaran airport in Bohol Monday morning after an AirAsia Zest plane obstructing the runway due to deflated tires was removed.
The Airbus A320 of AirAsia Zest flight (EZD) 351 developed flat tires around 9 a.m. Sunday just after boarding and loading its cargo at the Tagbilaran Airport.
No plane could land and take off at the runway due to the stalled aircraft.
The CAAP issued a notice to airmen on the situation at the airport which led to the cancellation of at least six Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific flights to and from Manila, a report from the Manila International Airport Authority said.
These were PR 2773, PR 2774, PR 2777, PR 2778, 5J 617 and 5J 618, all on the Tagbilaran-Manila-Tagbilaran route.
Although not connected, the incident happened on the same day that AirAsia flight 8501 bound for Singapore from Indonesia went missing on Sunday.
“The problem was the flat tires. It happens,” Jenny Tan, communication officer of AirAsia Philippines, said over the phone when asked about the incident.
AirAsia Philippines is part of the Malaysian AirAsia group which is now under pressure to search for its missing flight with 162 people on board. AirAsia Zest is a joint venture between AirAsia Philippines and ZestAir.
Tan said the maintenance personnel of AirAsia Zest were able to fix the tire problem on the same day but since the Tagbilaran airport is not equipped for landings and takeoffs after sunset, the plane was only able to take off for Manila at 6:57 a.m. Monday.
The plane carried 178 passengers and six crew members. The CAAP immediately lifted the Notam, allowing planes to take off and land at the airport as scheduled.
Meanwhile, at least 28 flights to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were canceled on Monday as Tropical Storm “Seniang” swept through Mindanao and the Visayas.