Channel NewsAsia

Malaysia Airlines jet turns back due to 'pressure' woes

A Malaysia Airlines plane was forced to turn back due to pressure problems inside the aircraft after being in the air for almost an hour, a top aviation watchdog official said on Sunday (Aug 24).

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysia Airlines plane was forced to turn back due to pressure problems inside the aircraft after being in the air for almost an hour, a top aviation watchdog official said on Sunday (Aug 24).

Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation told AFP that the plane returned to Kuala Lumpur International Airport because it was unable to maintain the correct pressure inside the aircraft. "It was not able to maintain the right pressure differential for the comfort of the passengers. It is not a major problem," he said. Malaysia Airlines officials could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile the Star Online reported that the Tokyo-bound flight was 50 minutes into its journey when it was forced to return to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport after taking off at 2.50am GMT (10.50am on Saturday, Singapore time). Passengers were subsequently transferred to another plane which departed at 5.15am GMT (1.15pm, Singapore time), it said.

The flag carrier, which prior to this year had a good safety record, has been in the spotlight in the past six months following two aviation tragedies - the disappearance of flight MH370 on Mar 8, and the shooting down of MH17 on Jul 17 while flying over rebel-held eastern Ukraine. The two aviation tragedies killed 537 passengers.