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Passengers on Korean Air flight stranded for hours in Paris

June 10, 2023 - 15:21 By Son Ji-hyoung
This photo shows passengers who just got off the Korean Air Lines airplane and returned to the terminal at around 2 a.m. Saturday in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. (Photo provided by a third party)

A Korean Air flight from Paris that was to return to South Korea carrying 354 passengers has been delayed for at least 16 hours due to a mechanical problem, The Korea Herald learned Saturday.

The incident left its passengers stranded for more than four hours while aboard the airplane as it waited.

The plane was initially supposed to take off at 9 p.m. Friday local time at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. But a mechanical error left the flight stuck on the tarmac.

"They knew about the problem around 9 p.m. that was our departure, but they didn’t let us get off the airplane until 1:30 a.m.," one of the passengers told The Korea Herald.

"They kept on saying, 'we will leave in 15 minutes.' Finally around 1 a.m they said the flight was cancelled and we had to get off."

Not all passengers were provided with accommodation, and some were left waiting in the airport terminal until the flight was available.

The passenger added that the ground staff were only making announcements in Korean, and Korean passengers had to translate them for non-Korean passengers.

Korean Air Lines said in a statement it "felt sorry for the inconvenience of the passengers," adding it made the decisions it did "to ensure passengers' safety."

The takeoff is tentatively scheduled to leave at 1 p.m. Saturday, Paris time, but a Korean Air Lines spokesperson said nothing regarding the takeoff time had been decided.