Mid-air scare: South Korean plane flew with an open door

Mid-air scare: South Korean plane flew with an open door
Jin Air flew with an unsealed door (left). A passenger said he thought he would die when he suffered a terrible headache.
PHOTO: Screengrab from Reuters video

SEOUL - South Korea will review safety at its six budget airlines after two recent incidents, including one involving a plane that had to return to its departure airport after a door was not properly sealed, a transport ministry official said.

Early on Sunday, a Jin Air Co Ltd Boeing 737-800 on its way to Busan, South Korea, from Cebu in the Philippines returned to the Philippine airport about 25 minutes after takeoff because one of its doors was not completely sealed, an airline spokesman, Park Jeong-hoon, said.

Jin Air, the budget affiliate of Korean Air Lines Co Ltd , could not find any defect, Park said.

Late last month, a Jeju Air Co Ltd domestic flight from Seoul to Jeju island flew at low altitude after cabin pressure control malfunctioned, the airline and the transport ministry said.

Although no injuries were reported in either incident, passengers on the Jin Air plane said they suffered headaches and felt pain in their ears. The head of Jin Air Busan office, Park Mun-seong, was seen apologising for the incident in a Reuters video.

One passenger, Mr Kim Jin-Bae said in the clip: "I thought I would die here because I was numb with a headache."

The review will look into adherence to safety regulations by budget carriers, a ministry official told Reuters.

Budget carriers have been growing quickly in South Korea, and accounted for more than half of domestic flights at the end of 2015.



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