MALAYSIAN budget carrier AirAsia once again made headlines when a man tried to open an emergency exit door during a Delhi-Ranchi flight, injuring passengers and crew who tried to restrain him.
The 32-year-old passenger tried to yank the door open as the plane was landing at Ranchi Airport but was unable to, and the aircraft landed safely.
A Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official told The Times of India: “Aftab Ahmed, a 32-year-old resident of Ranchi, tried to open the emergency door at about 9.50pm on Monday. After landing at Ranchi Airport, he was handed over to police.”
AirAsia is yet to release a statement following the incident. The budget airline has made news in the last couple of weeks following interruptions during flights.
Last week, a mid-flight bird strike on a Gold Coast-Kuala Lumpur route resulted in a forced landing.
On June 25, reports circulated of an “engine malfunction” on a Perth-Kuala Lumpur route that caused the plane to “shake like a washing machine”. The plane turned back to Perth and landed safely with emergency services on site.
Following the episode, aviation experts warned Australians to “think twice” before flying budget airlines.
“Australians regrettably think with their pocket and not their head,” Strategic Aviation Solutions chairman and aviation expert Neil Hansford told ABC.
“Because if you go to the trouble of working out whether a carrier’s got a record or not you would look at AirAsia and you would say ‘well why would I fly with that carrier who can’t get seven stars?’ If the difference in the fare was AUD200, is my life worth AUD200?”
In response to the outrage, the airline defended their safety record in a statement: “We would like to stress AirAsia Group has always strictly followed the maintenance program prescribed by our manufacturers.”