AirAsia X: Say a (Emergency) Prayer For Me

AirAsia X D7237 made an Emergency U-turn to Perth Airport en-route to Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning.

“I hope you all say a prayer, I’ll be saying a prayer too and let’s hope we all get back home safely”,

coming from the voice of the pilot reverberating through the intercom of an (un)fortunate AirAsia X carrying 392 passengers after 90 minutes into a flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 25 June in the morning.

AirAsia X D7237 operating on an Airbus A330 en-route to KUL from Perth was forced to return to Perth less than 2 hours airborne when one of the turbine blades in the aircraft’s left engine snapped.

Passengers on the left side of the aircraft saw the engine vibrating violently under the wing. Soon, the cabin started to shudder and an announcement came from the cockpit that the aircraft will be making a U-turn back to Perth.

Everyone on the aircraft was stressed and some passengers were reported crying. The what would have taken them slightly less than 6 hours of an un-incidental journey from PER-KUL resulted in an harrowing 3 hour flight.


Flight Path PER - KUL Emergency U-Turn
Flight Path PER – KUL Emergency U-Turn

Unfortunately, that unnerving 90-minute-long experience could have been further reduced if the pilots of the A330 diverted their aircraft to Learmonth, just 25 minutes away, rather than fly the 90 minutes back to Perth. This resulted in Australia’s crash and regulatory watchdogs expecting an answer from the pilots regarding the questionable decision the pilots have made.




Fortunately, it is nothing tragic but the AirAsia X’s reputation seems to be losing ground especially here in Australia. AirAsia X has a long history of controversial safety concerns. Yet, many of us still choose to fly them including myself. Costs and convenience (direct flights) are important factors when it comes to deciding which carriers to take. IN 2016, AAX vows to win back trusts in the Australian market but so far, I have yet to experience any major improvements.

10 March 2015: the captain of an AirAsia X flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur entered the wrong longitude into an Airbus A330’s navigation system, causing the plane to fly in the wrong direction and cross the departure path of an adjacent parallel runway at Sydney Airport.

19 Feb 2016: an Indonesia AirAsia A320 flying from Bali to Perth flew 300m too low on approach to Perth in severe turbulence.

21 July 2016: The AirAsia plane was taking off from the airport at 11.42am and the Jetstar plane was descending when the two aircraft came within 152 metres of each other.

08 October 2016: AirAsia X A330 was diverted from the Gold Coast to Brisbane when its wing flaps failed to fully deploy.

25 June 2017: This

My co-writer Andrew took AirAsia X from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur in economy class a few months ago this year. You can read about his experiences here.

Related articles

Flight Review: QF39 MEL-CGK Qantas Business

At long last, the First Class check-in area has...

Covid-19: Green Lanes But Not So Easy

From Monday (June 8), Singapore will gradually reopen its...

Covid-19: Singapore to Open ‘Green Lanes’ to Selected Countries

Starting May 29, Singapore (finally) opened its doors to...

Mandatory wearing of face masks for all passengers on Korean Air

South Korea's flag carrier Korean Air said on Friday...

Royal Air Maroc Joins OneWorld

April 1st has come and gone. Royal Air Maroc...
K̶Colin sleep travels poorly. He can't seem to find a hotel bed that shares the unique olfactory charm of his own.