KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 ― Passengers aboard the disrupted Malaysia Airlines flight MH128 will be departing Melbourne tonight following a reschedule, following yesterday’s bomb scare.
The new flight has been renamed MH128D, and will fly out at 8pm local time, arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 2.35am Malaysian time tomorrow.
“Passengers with critical onward connections have been allocated seats on Malaysia Airlines’ earlier flight, MH148 departing Melbourne at 1355hrs (1.55pm) local time on 1 June,” Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) said in a statement today.
Three Malaysia Airlines flights are now scheduled to depart Melbourne today, it added.
It also said the MAS technical team and cabin crew who worked on MH128 yesterday would not operate any flight until further notice, and that a new set of crew members would be manning the new Flight MH128D.
MAB said the Australian Security authorities have screened all baggage and it is being transferred on the respective flights that passengers are rebooked on.
“An investigation led by Australian authorities is currently underway and Malaysia Airlines wishes to extend its appreciation to everyone involved during the emergency situation.
“Passengers have been sent to local hotels in Melbourne and will be departing to Kuala Lumpur throughout 1 June,” MAS added.
The pilot of the Kuala Lumpur-bound MH128 aborted the flight after the alleged hijacking attempt and returned to Melbourne Airport shortly after take off.
In the incident, a 25-year-old Sri Lankan national who was reportedly drunk, has fished out a large object, claiming it to be a bomb, and attempted to force himself into the plane's cockpit.
The plane which had just taken off then, immediately returned to the Melbourne Airport, by which time, the man was already subdued by several passengers of the plane and its crew members.
He was later detained by the police.
Melbourne Airport remains in a lockdown over the incident and all flights headed there have been diverted to other airports.
The incident came just months after Canberra called off the search for missing Flight MH370 carrying 239 passengers and crew, after a vast underwater hunt off Australia’s west coast failed to find the plane.
The man, who is still unnamed, will be prosecuted today, according to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, via a live press conference.