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  • An Apology to Passengers of Flight KC898 Completed on 29/01/2008

    13 February 2008

    On January 29 of this year, Air Astana’s Flight 898, a Boeing 767, from Dubai to Almaty began preparation for take-off in the usual manner. Passengers had taken their seats and the plane was ready to be towed to the taxi strip. At that time, the aerial navigation control system gave instruction to delay the takeoff for 10 to 15 minutes because of a minor technical problem with the auxiliary power supply unit, which caused the cabin lights to go off. Engineers were called to check the equipment. The captain made an announcement in Kazakh, Russian, and English languages via the public address system to inform the passengers of the cause of delay. After the engineers rectified the defect, the captain notified the passengers that the aircraft was ready to continue the flight. As the aircraft was approaching the taxi strip, the problem with the auxiliary power supply unit recurred.  The engineers were recalled and the defect was promptly rectified.

    The engines were started and the plane was ready for takeoff. Some of the passengers on the flight, concerned with the character of the delay, asked the captain to confirm that the aircraft was operational. The captain came out to the passengers and announced that the plane was fully prepared for takeoff and that all aircraft systems were in good order. The crew took all possible measures to calm down the passengers. Most passengers were satisfied with the information received from the captain and members of the crew, and took their seats and thanked the captain for his assurance of the absence of threat.

    However, as the aircraft was approaching the airstrip for take-off, two male passengers attempted to enter the pilot’s cabin, which is prohibited under International Air Transportation Association regulations, a policy which is strictly observed by Air Astana. On the way to the pilot’s cabin, the male passengers were stopped by the chief steward. The two passengers then tried to use force, with one of the passengers even demanding that the door of the plane be opened.  In accordance with International flight safety regulations concerning destructive behavior aboard an aircraft, the decision was made to terminate the flight and remove the troublemakers from the plane.

    After the incident, some passengers refused to continue with the flight despite the persuasion and assurances of the crew and representatives of the air company. This caused further delays because of the procedure concerning passengers and baggage deplanement. The rest of the passengers safely arrived in Almaty on the same Flight 898. Those who remained in Dubai were brought to Almaty by subsequent flights of the company.

    Air Astana understands and shares the inconveniences caused to the passengers and offers its apologies. The company has sent letters to all passengers of the flight, with the exception of the troublemakers, with the proposal to upgrade the class of air tickets (contingent upon availability of unfilled seats) during their next flight on Air Astana or carry an additional 15 kg of luggage in any direction serviced by the company.

    For additional information, please contact:

    PR Department
    Air Astana
    Tel.:+7 727 258 41 35, ext. 161
    E-mail: Zhanna.Badaubayeva@airastana.com