PhuketTourismTransport

An Azur Air flight circles Phuket for hours, then aborts

PHOTO: Why an Azur Air flight circled and returned to Phuket is still unknown. (via Flight Radar 24)

An Azur Air flight intended for Russia never made and no one is saying why. The flight took off toward Novosibirsk after a five-hour delay but never made it past the Andaman Sea. It circled for hours and ended up back in Phuket leaving about 200 passengers stranded.

Azur Air flight ZF3750 was supposed to depart at 3.50pm yesterday toward Russia. Instead, it departed at 9.20pm and took three different circling patterns for two and a half hours before eventually returning to Phuket.

It landed just before midnight and all the passengers onboard were forced to stay in Phuket for the night. Another 200 passengers waiting to fly to Thailand from Novosibirsk were also left without an aircraft to take them.

Phuket International Airport, and Azur Air have not given any official statements or released any information to the public as to why the plane made such a bizarre trip. It first circled over the Koh Yao islands in Phang Nga Bay to the east of Phuket several times before then flying out over the Andaman Sea.

There it circled again and again for just over an hour before breaking the pattern heading south and circling again. The aircraft circled for another 40 minutes before heading back to the Koh Yao islands where it circled for another 15 minutes before landing at Phuket Airport.

The flight was rescheduled to travel for today, but no explanation was given for the five-hour delay on the ground or the three hours of flying in circles. The flight from Novosibirsk to Phuket is also scheduled to fly after a 10-hour delay, but using a different aircraft since the intended plane is still in Phuket.

Passengers and media continue to wait for an explanation for the confusing and frustrating delay.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.