By Lee Hyo-sik
A Hawaiian Airlines passenger plane bound for Incheon returned to Honolulu International Airport shortly after takeoff Saturday, causing inconvenience to honeymooners and other passengers who visited the U.S. resort island.
According to KPR, a local public relations agency representing the U.S. airline, Monday, Hawaiian Airlines flight HA459A took off from Honolulu airport at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.
But it returned to the airport shortly after departure, citing an unspecified problem with the aircraft.
Passengers were asked to transfer to another plane, which departed 9 hours later. The aircraft was initially scheduled to arrive at Incheon International Airport at 8:05 p.m. Saturday but it landed here at 5 a.m. Sunday.
After the arrival, about 40 passengers protested at the airport for three hours, demanding Hawaiian Airlines compensate them properly for the delayed departure.
One of protesting passengers said a pilot on the initial airplane said he had to fly back to Honolulu, citing a faulty fuel device.
But airline officials at Incheon International Airport said there was nothing wrong with the aircraft, refusing to elaborate exactly what forced it to return to Honolulu.
The Korea Times asked KPR to provide details concerning the incident, including the exact cause for the delay.
But the agency only said it is not in a position to offer more information as it has not heard anything from its headquarters.
Hawaiian Airlines launched the Incheon-Honolulu route in January 2011.