PETALING JAYA: It was a technical issue that delayed Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu's flight to London, which later caused him to miss a meeting with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad there.
National carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd said it deeply regrets the inconvenience caused and has apologised for it.
"The airline was aware of the Minister's meeting and spared no expense to ensure that the aircraft was safe to fly as safety is of the utmost importance at all times for the airline," it said in a statement.
Mohamad had boarded flight MH002 from Kuala Lumpur on June 15 and was supposed to arrive in London at 5.55am the next day.
However, the delay caused the flight to arrive at 8.26am.
The airline explained that it also made arrangements for a swift and seamless clearance upon its arrival at Heathrow Airport and subsequently made alternative flight arrangements for the Minister's entourage to Paris for a working visit there.
On Monday (June 24), the Defence Ministry issued a statement regretting the incident.
It stated that Mohamad had an important meeting with Dr Mahathir, who was in the UK on a working visit, but missed it because of the flight delay.
"The Minister was on his way to France but had dropped by London to meet with Dr Mahathir," it said.
The Ministry later said it hoped that the mistake would be avoided in future.