KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — AirAsia X Flight D7207 bound for Kuala Lumpur yesterday was forced to divert to Brisbane, Australia shortly after departing the Gold Coast Airport at 10.20pm local time last night, believed due to birds flying into its starboard engine.
The airline said two bird remains were found on the runway after the plane landed safely at the Brisbane Airport with all 345 passengers and 14 crew at 11.33pm local time.
“We are following all regulatory guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests, who are currently being attended to by our ground staff.
“We would like to commend our pilot and crew members for their professionalism and swift action to reassure passengers who were on board flight D7 207 and to land the aircraft safely in Brisbane airport,”AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail told Malay Mail Online in a statement.
He added that AirAsia X will arrange for a special flight to transport all its passengers from Flight D7207 to Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible.
Earlier several passengers on board reported hearing explosive sounds from the right engine about half an hour into their flight.
“Successive sparks boom boom boom went off and people were crying and screaming,” Eric Lim said on his Facebook page.
Another passenger, Calvin Boon, posted a video of the plane after it landed safely on the Brisbane Airport tarmac, thanking the AirAsia X flight captain and crew for their professional handling of the incident.
Boon applauded the budget airline’s crew for their professional handling, which he attributed to ensuring all on board landed safely.