Jetstar passengers stuck on tarmac for nearly seven hours

A replacement plane had to be sent to Alice Springs after an electrical problem was detected.

A replacement plane had to be sent to Alice Springs after an electrical problem was detected. Photo: AAP

Furious passengers who were stuck on the tarmac for nearly seven hours in Alice Springs have finally ended their journey in Melbourne.

Hundreds of passengers were confined to the grounded plane on Sunday with limited food and no-inflight entertainment, and complaining they were not allowed to disembark for fresh air.

The Jetstar flight had taken off from Bangkok en route to Melbourne, but it was diverted to the Northern Territory due to a medical emergency on board.

After landing about 7.20am CST on Sunday, the plane was forced to remain grounded for more than six hours after an electrical fault was picked up.

“Unfortunately while the aircraft was on the ground in Alice Springs, an electrical issue was detected, requiring a replacement part to be sourced from Sydney,” a Jetstar statement said on Sunday night.

“As a result, we organised a second aircraft to fly to Alice Springs this afternoon to get passengers on their way as fast as possible.”

On board the grounded Jetstar flight

With 320 passengers on board the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the travellers were stranded as Alice Springs is a domestic airport and does not have customs processing facilities.

Jetstar said the airline worked with border agencies, the NT Police and the airport authority to give passengers the option to disembark into a special partitioned section of the airport.

“They were then transferred directly onto the replacement aircraft. We worked with the local airport to provide passengers with food, drinks and snacks,” the statement said.

“We appreciate this has been a lengthy delay and frustrating experience.

“Safety is always our first priority, and we thank passengers for their patience and understanding as we supported the passenger requiring urgent medical assistance and worked to get everyone else on their way as quickly as possible.”

Passengers’ checked bags weren’t able to be transferred to the replacement plane so they must wait until Monday to collect their luggage in Melbourne.



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