Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) has blamed the “culmination of unexpected and periodical maintenance” of its planes for flight disruptions in the past 72 hours.
“We apologise to our passengers affected by the serious disruptions,” it said in a statement which was e-mailed to The Star yesterday.
The apology came from the operator of Sabah and Sarawak's rural air services after passengers complained about abrupt cancellations and poor treatment at the airport.
Flights cancelled were those serving Kota Kinabalu, Sibu and Lahad Datu.
“The disruptions were caused by a culmination of unexpected and periodical maintenance repairs to FAX’s Fokker 50 fleet,” the statement added.
It said FAX had implemented a service recovery plan for 10 days starting June 2, which included special flights on AirAsia to shuttle FAX passengers between Kota Kinabalu, Bintulu and Sibu.
It added that a similar arrangement could not be done for Lahad Datu because the airport was unable to cope with the bigger aircraft used by AirAsia.
As a result, it said FAX had organised land transportation to transfer passengers to Tawau and Sandakan and was working with AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines to connect passengers to Kota Kinabalu and vice versa.
It added that FAX provided meals, overnight accommodation for outstation passengers and land transfers where necessary at no cost to the passengers.
It said FAX was also looking at a long-term and viable solution including revising its schedule to adequately service its routes and meet the on-time performance.
Stranded passengers, however, have been complaining of poor ground handling, including being given little information or assistance.
At terminal two of the Kota Kinabalu Airport yesterday, teacher Lyister Majroy of SK Nangatutus in Sibu said no meals or assistance had been given.
He was accompanying seven Year Six pupils from the school to a national environment camp in Tuaran.
Majroy said they had been waiting for the flight to Bintulu since 7am.
He said he did not get anything, including meal vouchers.
At 5pm, he said: “I have been paying for the children’s food. So far, there is no word on our flight. The children are tired and homesick. We don’t know what to do or where to go.”
Source : STAR
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