Hotel rooms unavailable for MAS passengers stranded in Auckland

HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN



PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH132, which was scheduled to depart Auckland, New Zealand, for Kuala Lumpur at midnight yesterday after a previous delay, has been delayed again for about 47 hours due to a technical problem.

In a statement today, the airline apologised for the inconvenience caused to the passengers who are now stranded at Auckland Airport and unable to check into hotels in the city, as rooms are reportedly fully-booked.

Earlier today, New Zealand news portals reported that the stranded passengers have been sleeping on chairs and benches at the airport.

MH132 was rescheduled to depart at 6.45am on Saturday, March 25, but was again delayed until 12am on Monday.

"The flight, originally scheduled to depart from Auckland at 12.55am and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.45am the same day has been retimed to depart at 12am on 27 March and arrive at Kuala Lumpur at 5.50am the same day," it added.

MAS said the aircraft required immediate replacements, which were not available in New Zealand or Australia.

“Safety is of utmost importance to Malaysia Airlines. The delay was necessary, due to the grounding of the A330-300 aircraft to address the technical problem.

“The aircraft requires immediate replacements of parts that are unavailable in New Zealand and Australia,” it said.

MAS said it is working hard to accommodate all passengers.

“Affected guests have been given meal vouchers. However, we truly regret that we were unable to provide accommodation for some passengers, due to the unavailability of rooms in Auckland.

"We exhausted all avenues… and our guests will be duly compensated,” it added.