Air Asia Zest Overshoots Runway at Kalibo International Airport

Just two days after an AirAsia aircraft vanished over the Java Sea, another AirAsia aircraft has been involved in an incident in the Philippines, where an AirAsia Zest A320-200 aircraft overshot the runway at Kalibo International Airport.


air asia Z2 272
Copyright Photo: Jet Damazo-Santos / Twitter
The aircraft was landing at Kalibo Airport, one of the primary gateways to the popular resort destination of Boracay Island, when it overshot the runway with 153 people on board that had travelled from the Philippine capital of Manila.



air asia kalibo airport
Copyright Photo: Jet Damazo-Santos / Twitter

Passengers were forced to make an emergency exit using the aircraft's slides. According to a local journalist that was on board the aircraft, Jet Damazo-Santos, the scenes were chaotic as passengers scrambled to disembark from the aircraft.

"Engine was shut immediately, we were told to leave bags, deplane asap. Firetruck was waiting," said Damazo-Santos on her Twitter feed. She noted that nobody appeared to be injured in spite of the aircraft coming to an abrupt halt.



air asia Z2 272
Copyright Photo: Jet Damazo-Santos / Twitter

The flight, AirAsia Zest Z2 272, was travelling from Manila on the night of December 30 in bad weather. The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 3:10pm but did not leave until nearly two hours later. A Cebu Pacific flight that had previously departed for Kalibo was earlier forced to turn back due to the inclement weather.

After disembarking from the aircraft, passengers were taken immediately to the terminal building at Kalibo International Airport, where those needing attention, were provided with medical assistance. A flight attendant on board the aircraft was quoted as stating that the accident happened because of strong winds.

air asia kalibo airport
Copyright Photo: Jet Damazo-Santos / Twitter
Reports revealed that a passenger was taken to hospital due to high blood pressure, while confused passengers were advised that their luggage would not be available until the aircraft could be brought to the tarmac.
AirAsia Philippines released a statement on Tuesday night confirming the incident. "AirAsia Philippines confirms flight Z2 272 from Manila skidded off the Kalibo International Airport runway at 5:43pm upon landing. All 153 passengers and crew were able to disembark safely, no injuries reported. All passengers are now at a hotel assisted by AirAsia staff."



air asia kalibo airport
Copyright Photo: Jun Aguirre/AP

The incident is just the latest in what has been a difficult end to the year for AirAsia, voted World's Best Low-Cost Airline for the last six consecutive years. The incident at Kalibo International Airport comes just hours after wreckage and six bodies were recovered from the sea off the coast of Borneo Island following the disappearance of an AirAsia aircraft enroute from Surabaya to Singapore two days earlier.

Indonesian authorities have confirmed that they have located debris and at least forty bodies belonging to the missing aircraft. A shadow has also been spotted on the sea floor no more than thirty metres deep, which is believed to be the main fuselage of the A320-200 aircraft.

Tony Ferandes, CEO of AirAsia Group, stated that his heart is "filled with sadness" following the news as he made his way to the crisis centre in Surabaya. All 162 people on board the aircraft are believed to have perished in the accident.

Meanwhile, the incident at Kalibo International Airport is the second incident for AirAsia Zest this month. It comes just two days after the tires of another AirAsia Zest aircraft deflated after loading and boarding cargo at Tagbilaran Airport in Bohol. The incident closed the airport as the aircraft blocked the airport's runway, leading to the cancellation of several flights.
 
air asia Z2 272
"The aircraft involved in the incident at Kalibo International Airport"
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG

"The problem was the flat tires. It happens," said Jenny Tan, Communications Officer at AirAsia Philippines. She added that the incident is normal due to the short runway and presence of potholes. The aircraft's tires were later fixed, enabling the aircraft to resume its flight to Manila.

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