More than 100 passengers on a Melbourne-bound international flight were kept on the tarmac for more than seven hours after the plane made an emergency landing in the Northern Territory on Sunday.
Flight JQ30 departed Thailand just before 9.30pm (Bangkok time), before being diverted to Alice Springs due to a medical emergency seven hours into the flight, landing about 7.20am (ACST).
After a mechanical fault was detected on the Boeing 787, a replacement plane was flown to Alice Springs to collect those onboard.
Passengers had to stay inside the plane on the tarmac for a further seven hours after landing, as they were not allowed to disembark at Alice Springs because it is not an international airport.
Speaking to Nine News from inside the plane earlier on Sunday, passenger William Kiss said the “mood on the plane is very unhappy”.
Passengers said they were given little food or drink while stationary on the tarmac, and that there were problems with the plane’s airconditioning and entertainment systems were turned off.
“People just want to get some fresh air. We’ve been sitting on this plane – with flight time included – now for close to 14 hours,” Kiss said.
Agitated travellers and upset babies can be seen and heard on mobile phone vision from the plane.
A replacement flight was expected to touch down in Melbourne after 9.30pm on Sunday.
In a statement, Jetstar thanked the passengers onboard JQ30 for their “patience and understanding” and said it would work with those seeking refunds on a case-by-case basis.
“We appreciate this has been a lengthy and frustrating delay and the experience has been very uncomfortable for customers,” a spokesman for the airline said.
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