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Singapore-bound Cebu Pacific flight diverts to Brunei due to ‘technical problem’

Singapore-bound Cebu Pacific flight diverts to Brunei due to ‘technical problem’

Cebu Pacific airline's Airbus A330-300 jet. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

SINGAPORE: Cebu Pacific flight 5J803 from Manila to Singapore was diverted to Brunei early on Friday morning (Mar 8) because of a technical problem, the airline said on its Twitter page.

The flight was diverted to Bandar Seri Begawan at 1.45am after a technical problem was detected in the aircraft en route to Singapore, it said in a statement.

The Airbus A330-343 jet had been scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 2.05am, according to flightradar24. 

“Another aircraft has been dispatched from Manila to take affected passengers to Singapore," Cebu Pacific said.

The replacement aircraft is expected to arrive in Brunei at noon, where it will pick up the passengers and set off for Singapore at 12.40pm, the airline said in an update at 11am.

"Meanwhile, the return flight, 5J804 (Singapore to Manila), will be delayed. We apologise for the inconvenience as the safety of our passengers is our utmost priority."

In its update, the airline said that 5J804 has been scheduled to depart Singapore at 3.10pm, with the estimated time of arrival in Manila at 6.50pm.

Affected passengers were provided meals, refreshments and travel vouchers, the airline said.

A screenshot from Flightradar 24 showing the route taken by Cebu Pacific flight 5J803 on Mar 8, 2019.

Saul de Jesus, 33, was among the passengers on board flight 5J803. 

He said that passengers were alerted to the emergency descent before the aircraft landed in Brunei. 

"I wasn't able to get the exact message of the pilot during the announcement but I was sure of the words 'emergency descent' and then it was announced that we would be diverted to Brunei," he told Channel NewsAsia from Brunei International Airport.

"I was only half awake because the flight was in the wee hours in the morning but it may have been announced that there was a problem with pressure on the plane," the social media professional said.

He added that all passengers were safe and waiting for a flight from Manila to pick them up to go to Singapore. 

In his tweets, De Jesus also wrote that passengers had to stay on board for several hours after the plane landed as documents had to be processed. 

At around 6am, passengers were asked to leave the plane and board a separate aircraft to Singapore, his tweets said. 

"3:50AM Captain announced that documents are still being processed and that next update would be made after around 30 minutes to an hour. Still no way to communicate to people outside the plane for us," he wrote. 

"6:06AM Captain finally said that our plane cannot fly us to Singapore anymore and we have to be deplaned. Cebu Pacific will be sending another plane from Manila which would leave at a little past 7am."

Source: CNA/na(rw)


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