AirAsia Zest apologizes for flight's aircon malfunction

AirAsia Zest on Wednesday apologized to passengers who complained about the extreme heat when they boarded the airline's plane.

AirAsia Zest plane aircon malfunction

Last July 5, travelers who were supposed to take AirAsia Zest flight RP 8986 bound for Kalibo, Aklan in the Philippines found themselves in an uncomfortable situation when the aircraft's airconditioning system failed to operate.

Passenger Lex Bonife took a video of the incident that happened while the plane was waiting for take-off at the NAIA Terminal 4 runway. MJ Lim, his fellow passenger who shared the images to ABS-CBN News, said flight attendants told them that the temperature would cool down once the plane takes off.

The passengers decided to get off as they could no longer stand the heat inside the aircraft, he said. A bus arrived and brought them back to the terminal. They were eventually transferred to another plane.

On July 9, the company issued a statement apologizing to the inconvenienced passengers. According to AirAsia Philippines communications manager Jenny Bugarin-Tan, the problem occured because the plane's Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) malfunctioned.

"We transferred the passengers to another aircraft after the APU of our Airbus RP8986 was unable to supply power to operate the air conditioning system while the aircraft was on ground," the statement read.

AirAsia Zest passenger Gretz Sente had the same experience over a week earlier.

In a Facebook post, she said it was like they were inside an oven when they entered the plane (RP C 8997) bound for Cebu last July 1.

According to her, most of the passengers including a pregnant woman and a child were already sweating excessively. She confronted two flight attendants and demanded that they turn on the airconditioner, but the staff only said repair was ongoing.

Afraid to get suffocated, she said the passengers requested for stairs so they can get out and breathe some fresh air while the cooling system is being fixed.

The passengers were reportedly transferred to another plane more than an hour later.

Sente's video went viral after posting her rant on the social networking site.