In an interesting turn of events, a Malaysian Airlines flight was delayed by more than two hours due to a disturbing situation caused by mosquitoes at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
The incident took place in the early hours of Thursday as the plane was forced to stop from taking off even after approaching the runway, sources at the airport said.
It all started as some 150 passengers on board could not settle down on their seats comfortably because of a sudden mosquito attack.
The flight, MH197, destined for Malaysia, was scheduled for 12:30am on Thursday.
According to the sources, the Boeing 737 aircraft was heading towards the runway from the airport’s Alpha-2 Bay area, but mosquitoes swarmed the plane when passengers boarded it.
Greatly irritated by the mosquitoes, the passengers complained to the crew members; at one point, the pilot was forced to return to the Alpha-2 Bay area.
It took a while to bring the situation under control - the crew sprayed aerosol mosquito repellent to kill the mosquitoes, putting the airline staff in an embarrassing position.
By the time the menace was properly dealt with, the flight had been delayed by two hours and 16 minutes.
Some other airlines, too, were troubled in the wake of the situation.
Mohammad Aziz, station manager of Malaysian Airlines at Dhaka airport, said they had suffered a flight schedule collapse due to the mosquito menace.
“A swarm of mosquitoes entered the aircraft when passengers were getting into it from the bay area. The passengers were highly irritated by the mosquitoes,” he said.
However, the flight managed to take off after the mosquitoes were killed using repellent spray, Aziz further said.
“We [during the incident] informed the on-duty officials of the airport of the flight being delayed. High-ups from our airlines were not present at the time,” he added.
Aziz said the Malaysian Airlines would convey the message to the airport authorities as well.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com