HONG KONG, March 24 (Reuters) - A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 271 people from Malaysia to South Korea on Monday was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Hong Kong after a technical fault involving an onboard generator, the airline said.
The incident early on Monday came as 26 countries search remote waters off Western Australia for a separate Malaysia Airlines jetliner, MH370, missing with 239 people on board for more than two weeks.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing on March 8.
Flight MH066 departed from Kuala Lumpur at 11.37 p.m. (1537 GMT Sunday) bound for Seoul’s Incheon airport. The flight, however, was diverted to Hong Kong’s international airport where it landed safely at around 3 a.m., the airline said.
Malaysia Airlines said the Airbus A330-300 jet was diverted because of an inoperative generator. There was no loss of power because an auxilliary generator took over.
All 271 passengers were transferred to other carriers, the airline said, while the return flight from Incheon to Kuala Lumpur was cancelled. Passengers have been transferred to other flights for the return leg.
A spokeswoman for the Hong Kong airport said the plane landed safely less than 30 minutes after it notified the airport. She said it was not classified as an emergency landing, although emergency services were put on standby. (Reporting by James Pomfret in HONG KONG, and Stuart Grudgings and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah in KUALA LUMPUR; Editing by Paul Tait)