AviationA domestic flight took off with an unexpected visitor slithering its way across the overhead cabin lighting.

Snake on a plane: Domestic fright on AirAsia

The plane made an emergency landing in Kuching for fumigation.
The plane made an emergency landing in Kuching for fumigation. Photo Credit: Gettyimages/Murilo Gualda

A real-life, albeit more minor situation of ‘Snakes on a Plane’ occurred onboard an AirAsia flight on 10 February when passengers spotted a silhouette of a serpent, complete with a flickering forked tongue, mid-journey from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, Sabah.

Footage of the scene with the snake slithering within a translucent panel in an Airbus A320 overhead compartment was posted on social media platform TikTok where the video quickly racked up over 91,000 ‘likes’.

Once the reptilian stowaway was reported to the flight’s captain, the aircraft was diverted to Kuching, Sarawak. According to CNA, the airline said that the emergency landing was done “as a precautionary measure to fumigate the aircraft”.

“This is a very rare incident which can occur on any aircraft from time to time,” AirAsia’s chief safety officer Captain Liong Tien Ling told CNA. “The captain took the appropriate action.”

“The safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew is always our top priority. At no time was the safety of guests or crew at any risk,” Liong added.

When The New Straits Times reached out to the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, chief executive officer Captain Datuk Chester Voo Chee Soon confirmed the bizarre incident onboard Flight AK5748, praising the crew members for handling the situation in compliance with safety procedures and regulations.

CNA reported that the flight departed Kuching for Tawau on the same day.

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