Quick fix: PJ councillor berates AirAsia “for only changing pilots but not changing faulty plane”

PETALING JAYA City Council councilor for term 2023, Bryan Ng Yih Miin, is berating AirAsia for prioritising profitability than passenger safety after the plane he boarded from Guangzhou to Kuala Lumpur (KL) encountered abnormal cabin air pressure soon after taking off on Monday night (May 1).

Following his Flight AK117 experiencing depressurisation barely 20 minutes after taking off at 10pm (same time zone with Malaysia), the plane was forced to turn back to Guangzhou but not before “hovering over the sky for a good two-and-a-half-hours” to burn fuel as safety procedure prior to landing.

“We landed back at Guangzhou around 1.45am (May 2) and were told at 4am that we would be put on a 9.45am flight back to KL,” Ng who is also a partner at law firm T.S. Ong & Ng explained in a WhatsApp video which went viral recently.


But what made him dumbfounded was the very fact that passengers were being told by AirAsia at the airport that the airline had no intention to change the plane “but is only changing its pilots”.

“They told us that they’ve fixed the plane and that cabin pressure is a small issue … One is make to wonder how AirAsia can make a quick fix to a serious problem,” lamented Ng. “There is no official explanation from AirAsia other than the abnormal air pressure issue as was informed by the crew on-board Flight AK117.”

The reason for flight delay is spelt out as “mechanical failure” in Mandarin and not merely “technical reason” as its English translation suggests, according to Petaling Jaya City Council councilor Bryan Ng Yih Miin who was on board AirAsia Flight AK117

“The entire episode shows that the airline is least concerned or care for passenger safety.  I believe many Malaysians and Chinese nationals (already) have phobia of flight accidents following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 from KL to Beijing in March 2014.”

Ng further highlighted that this is not the first time that AirAsia had encountered mid-flight problems as they had been previous reported incidents of engine failures and mechanical issues to the extent of a fatal crash of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 from Surabaya to Singapore after a high-altitude stall which killed all its 162 passengers on Dec 28, 2014.

“There is another related incident for the route between Indonesia and Australia in 2017.” he told FocusM in a phone interview.

“Back to our flight issue, we were told that this (cabin pressure issue) has happened before and this is how they handled the issue. They won’t even spare a different plane to fly us to our destination or at least on a different flight from other airlines as requested by the passengers.

“To sum up, they ‘threatened’ the passengers that if we refuse to fly with the same plane, they won’t be responsible. Several Chinese nationals flew to KL on the quick-fixed plane while other passengers comprising some Chinese nationals and Malaysians including myself chose to either change flight or request for refund which some until now still got rejected by AirAsia.

Added Ng: “The passengers were only asking for them to board a different flight not the same AK117 or to be refunded but AirAsia requested passengers to apply online but this eventually became cumbersome as many bought over different platforms”.

Alas, Ng took Flight AK113 which departed Guangzhou at 10.20am today and arrived safely at klia2 at about 2pm.

Worth noticing is the way he ended his WhatsApp video to relay his concerns about AirAsia’s disregard for the air worthiness of its plane and passenger safety:

“I’m Bryan Ng Yih Miin, a city councilor of Petaling Jaya and a lawyer … I want to spread this news to let the people know that lives of passengers are much more important (than profits), therefore we should perhaps boycott AirAsia from now on. Thank you.” – May 3, 2023

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