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Passengers stranded in Phuket after overloaded plane aborts takeoff

Passengers stranded in Phuket after overloaded plane aborts takeoff

PHUKET: Airports of Thailand Phuket branch (AoT Phuket), which operates Phuket International Airport, has issued a statement clarifying an incident which has left up to 300 passengers stranded in Phuket overnight after their flight to Bangkok was delayed for more than 12 hours.

By The Phuket News

Friday 2 December 2022, 03:38PM

In a notice posted at 1.40pm today (Dec 2), AoT Phuket explained that Thai VietJet passengers were affected by the situation that started to develop yesterday (Dec 1) and concluded this morning.

The notice was titled as “On the case of more than 300 passengers stranded at Phuket International Airport’’, yet AoT Phuket did not provide the exact number of passengers affected. 

According to the airport’s clarification, at around 12.05am the captain of a taking off Airbus A320 plane requested return from the runway as the actual number of passengers on board exceeded the capacity of the aircraft. 

As a result, those passengers had to wait for departure till the following day’s morning as the runway was then closed for scheduled maintenance.

AoT Phuket explained that the situation arose from “cancellation” of a different Thai VietJet flight that had to arrive from Bangkok earlier on Dec 1 and then fly back to the capital with Phuket passengers. That plane did not come on Dec 1 at all, but arrived on Dec 2 instead. 

“The cause of the situation was that an inbound flight, flight VZ2304 from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phuket, was unable to land at Phuket International Airport. This resulted in the airline trying to resolve the situation by transferring part of the outbound passengers of flight VZ2305 to flight VZ309. This resulted in the amount of passengers on board exceeding the aircraft’s capacity and causing aborted take off. The new take off could not be performed as the runway was closed from 11pm till 7.30am according to the flight announcement,” AoT Phuket explained in a notice posted on Facebook today (Dec 2).

“Following the incident, the airline offered accommodation to passengers. The aircraft was able to take off at 10.34am on Dec 2,” AoT Phuket added. 

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According to FlightRadar24 website, seven Thai VietJet flights from Bangkok were scheduled to land in Phuket yesterday (Dec 1). One of the evening flights, namely flight VZ2304, scheduled to land at 7.55pm, did not arrive until 7.48am today (Dec 2). 

This left Thai VietJet without an aircraft to perform the VZ2305 return flight from Phuket to Bangkok at the scheduled time of 8.25pm on Dec 1. The flight was performed with a 12-hour delay, taking off at 8.56am on Dec 2.

With no plane to perform the VZ2305 flight, Thai VietJet had only one flight to Bangkok left on that day which was VZ309 scheduled to take off at 9.20pm. For reasons not specified, the plane did not take off at 9.20pm. 

FlightRadar24 does not register take off attempts such as the one mentioned in the AoT Phuket report as having been made at 12.05am.

FlightRadar24 just says that the plane, Airbus A320 HS-VKA in ’Welcome to Thailand’, livery flew out of Phuket at 10.34am next day, just as reported by AoT Phuket.

Thai VietJet uses Airbus A320 aircrafts on both VZ2305 and VZ309 flights. Their standard capacity is about 140 passengers.

The Thai branch of the Vietnamese air carrier has not posted any explanaitions regarding the incident.

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