Woman’s horror after plane’s blackout

Panic reported on an AirAsia flight
Panic reportedly broke out on a Perth flight to Indonesia after a power outage. Picture: Nine

A woman onboard an AirAsia flight that lost power shortly before take off says fearful passengers were abandoned by the airline.

Levanna, 37, was supposed to be travelling to her native Jakarta with her best friend for an Anzac Day holiday long weekend.

Instead, she became one of 17 passengers who voluntarily disembarked the plane after repeated power outages sparked chaos.

The Indonesian-born woman said staff were giving safety demonstrations when the power cut out on board the Airbus A320.

“Suddenly, all the lights and the speaker and the aircon, it suddenly shut down (and) we can hear like a pop sound,” she said.

The power returned to the cabin after about seven minutes only for it to shut off again minutes later, according to Levanna.

“They were trying to continue (the demonstration), but it shut down again. It was hard because there was no aircon,” she said.

“It wasn’t just for second. It was about 10 minutes for the second (power outage). Nobody said anything. They pilot didn’t say anything.”

Panic reported on an AirAsia flight
Panic broke out on a Perth flight to Indonesia after a power outage. Picture: Nine

Levanna said passengers started to panic, with an asthma sufferer reacting to the stalled aircon and her friend having a panic attack.

After a while, Levanna said the pilot informed the passengers the issue was due to the auxiliary power and wouldn’t affect the flight.

The announcement came as little solace for Levanna who decided to disembark fearing further power issues once in the air.

“Of course we worry. We were so scared … They (the staff) didn’t say sorry. They said ‘You’re no longer our concern’,” she said.

“They (the airline) cannot treat us like this. They cannot say we are no longer their concern as soon as we step out”.

Levanna praised Perth airport staff who assisted passengers who had disembarked the plane, but said her trip was likely ruined.

Despite being a frequent passenger on AirAsia, Levanna said she had rebooked with a different airline for a much shorter trip.

She claimed no staff were present from AirAsia to assist the 17 offloaded passengers and that the next flight was not until Monday.

AirAsia flight QZ533 was due to depart Western Australia about 3am on Thursday when it suffered power failure while on the tarmac.

A spokesperson for Perth airport confirmed the passengers had voluntarily disembarked the plane following “technical issues”.

“We had been advised of a technical issue at the airport as the aircraft departed just before 3am,” the spokesperson said.

“It is due to land shortly. We’re not aware of what the issue was and we cannot comment on the airline (AirtAsia) specifically”.

The spokesperson confirmed no passenger was treated medically at the international airport after disembarking.

Adelaide Airport
The airport confirmed 17 passengers voluntarily disembarked the plane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Kelly Barnes

In a statement, AirAsia confirmed the flight was delayed due to “a minor technical issue before departure”.

“We thank all passengers for their co-operation and understanding,” Corporate Communications Manager Ageng Wibowo Leksono said.

“Indonesia AirAsia understands that this may cause inconvenience to all passengers.

“However, this decision was made to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew.

Mr Leksono said confirmed that “at no time was safety at any risk” to the passengers.

“The aircraft had not left the airport, oxygen and back up lighting were on throughout the cabin,” he said.

“The technical matter was addressed within 15 minutes and the flight resumed normal operations as soon as possible.”

The airline confirmed the flight departed 75 minutes late after it was cleared by the AirAsia engineering team and airport authorities.

It arrived at 6.30am at Soekarno Hatta International Airport at “without incident”.