Passengers get off the Wings Air plane departing from Jayapura in Wamena Airport, Papua on Oct. 8. 2019. (Antara Photo/M Risyal Hidayat)

Flight Delayed after Passenger Opens Emergency Window 


MARCH 08, 2021

Jakarta. Low-cost carrier Wings Air had to delay IW-1248 flight — departing from Deli Serdang to Binaka Airport in Gunungsitoli, North Sumatra — after a passenger opened the emergency exit window when the plane was ready to take off.

According to Wings Air’s spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro, the scheduled departure time from Kualanamu Airport, Deli Serdang, was at 8.45 a.m local time. Wings Air was operating the ATR 72-500 aircraft registered PK-WFO. Plane crews had already completed the pre-flight preparations during the incident.

“When we finished preparing for the departure and all passengers were already in the cabin, a 29-year-old male passenger —with the initials HS and seat number 3A based on the boarding pass— suddenly opened the emergency exit window,” Danang wrote in an official statement on Sunday.

The plane crew immediately notified the ground handling and aviation security officials. The ATR 72-500 aircraft was also checked. In addition, the incident caused a 55-minute flight delay.

"Wings Air have handed HS over to the relevant parties and airport authority for further probing," Danang said.

"Wings Air oblige all passengers to refrain from actions that can disrupt the safety and comfort be it on land or during flight. Unruly or disruptive passengers will face strict sanctions and legal consequences for their actions.”

The IW-1248 flight was about to take 4 crew members, 44 adult passengers, and one child on board. Following the incident, Wings Air flew the passengers to their destination using a different aircraft, namely the ATR 72-600 PK-WHM. The plane arrived in Gunungsitoli at 10.45 a.m. local time, Danang said.

He also asserted Wings Air puts safety first in all its aircraft operations.