AirAsia plane overshoots runway


An AirAsia Zest airplane carrying 159 people overshot the runway yesterday, ending up in a muddy field at an airport in the central Philippines after arriving from Manila in windy weather.

Crew members launched emergency slides to help passengers disembark from the Airbus A320-200 after it skidded off the runway in the resort town of Kalibo in Aklan province before nightfall, AirAsia Zest spokesman Giovanni Hontomin said. There were no reports of injuries.

Initial reports indicated that three of the plane’s tyres got stuck in the mud, said Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman Eric Apolonio. He said the busy airport would be closed to air traffic until the stalled aircraft — which was likely to have sustained damage — was towed away from near the runway’s end.

The accident came as a tropical storm set off landslides and flash floods in the southern and central Philippines.

Kalibo town, 350km south of Manila, is a busy gateway to the Boracay beach resort, a popular tourist destination.

The accident came after an AirAsia plane crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday during a flight from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board.

It also came two days after another incident involving an AirAsia Zest plane. On Sunday, a jet operated by the carrier developed a tyre problem in the central Philippines city of Tagbilaran while its 184 passengers and crew were boarding, prompting the airline to cancel the flight to Manila, officials said.

The Airbus A320 aircraft’s tyre was later fixed, allowing it to resume its flight to the Philippine capital. No reason was given for the problem.

Budget carrier AirAsia Zest is partly owned by Air-Asia Philippines.