Asiana Airlines under fire for flying jet that had caught fire
ASIANA Airlines is drawing criticism for allowing passengers to board a repaired jet that had caught fire earlier, local news reported in South Korea yesterday.
Flight OZ222 from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to Seoul was preparing for takeoff in two hours when it caught fire on Friday.
The air carrier immediately called the fire station to extinguish the flames. It investigated the cause and repaired the aircraft with officials of Airbus, the maker of the A380.
Some 400 passengers were notified about the incident at 1pm. They were told that the departure would be delayed to 4.30pm due to a defect in the aircraft.
At 4pm, Asiana announced that the flight had been cancelled and would be rescheduled to 4.30pm the next day.
When anxious passengers asked about the defective jet, Asiana said another plane that had arrived from Korea would take them to Seoul.
However, when the passengers arrived at the airport the next day, the flight was delayed again to 6.30pm.
When the plane was finally ready for takeoff, some passengers found out that it was the same as the one from the day before.
Amid protests from the passengers, the carrier reassured that the plane had been repaired and was safe.
"We thought it was the engine that caught fire so (we) looked for a substitute airplane immediately. But after investigating with Airbus, we found that it was one of the components that caught fire.
"After the repair, the jet was approved to fly. But we admit we did not notify passengers accurately," an official with Asiana said.
THE KOREA HERALD/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK