Airline ‘held passengers over an hour’


Pacific Blue passengers were left steaming after being made to remain on a broken-down aircraft for more than an hour in sweltering conditions at Wellington airport.

Flight DJ3011 sat on the tarmac for more than two hours after its scheduled departure time of 8.25am yesterday.

The plane’s 133 passengers were not initially allowed to leave the plane, which was without power or air conditioning, while engineering crews worked to fix engine problems. Outside, the temperature climbed.

One passenger, who missed a business meeting in Auckland because of the delay, told The Dominion Post it was about 75 minutes before passengers were let off.

“There was no air-conditioning so it was pretty hot,” the passenger said.

Pacific Blue says passengers were kept on board for just 30 minutes.

Passengers were not told why they had to stay on the plane and grew impatient toward the end, the passenger said.

Pacific Blue spokesman Phil Boeyen said the problem was a “minor engineering issue”.

He believed passengers were on kept on board for 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time, then they were asked to disembark.

Passengers were usually kept on the plane in the hope of a quick solution, he said.