AirAsia passengers fume over flight delays from KL

AirAsia said yesterday that it has sorted out Tuesday's flight delays out of the Kuala Lumpur budget terminal that left hundreds of passengers stranded and angry.

The chief of Asia's biggest budget airline, Mr Tony Fernandes, rejected suggestions that the 11 pilots who called in sick on Tuesday were possibly involved in a joint industrial action to show displeasure with the company.

Other reports had said 13 pilots reported they were sick.

Dozens of passengers took to social media from KLIA2, the budget terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, to complain about long flight delays and sudden rescheduling.

At least two local flights and two regional flights were affected.

AirAsia said yesterday that all its flights were back to normal schedules.

Mr Fernandes said a new rostering system and the 11 pilots who reported sick for night flights had caused the problem.

"It was a freak day with the new system and 11 pilots were not well for night flights," he told The Star newspaper. "It was hard for my team to manage."

Kinibiz, the business section of online news site Malaysiakini yesterday quoted a source within AirAsia as suggesting the mass illness reported by the pilots was "a mass show of displeasure" by them to the airline's management.

Asked about this, Mr Fernandes replied by text messages to The Straits Times: "Hahahahaha... We have 2,000 pilots."

On how a dozen sick pilots could cause many flight delays, he said: "Come work in an airline and you will see."

This article was first published on December 3, 2015.
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