PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH179 en route to Colombo on Thursday made a turn back to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) due to technical problems.
MAS said the aircraft, which departed from KLIA at 10.10pm, was forced to turn back when its auxiliary power unit (APU) was unable to start.
"The aircraft landed uneventfully at 1.50am (Friday)," it said in a statement.
The APU is a backup power unit that is required to be switched on when an aircraft crosses over water.
MAS said due to the closure of Bandaranaike International Airport for scheduled maintenance at the runway, an immediate retiming was not possible, hence passengers were accommodated at nearby hotels.
It said the flight would now operate as MH179D and depart KLIA at 3:30pm and arrive in Colombo at 4:35pm (local time), Friday.
MAS said the return leg MH178D was retimed to depart Colombo at 5:10pm (local time) the same day and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 11:20pm.
"Safety is Malaysia Airlines' number one priority at all times," it said.
The airline apologised to all its guests for the disruption to their travel plans. - Bernama