A Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight bound for Colombo was forced to turn back to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) earlier today (17) due to technical problems, the airline said.
Malaysia Airlines said flight MH179, which departed from KLIA at 10.10pm on Thursday, was forced to turn back when its auxiliary power unit (APU) was unable to start.
"The aircraft landed uneventfully at 1.50am today," 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.
Malaysia Airlines said due to closure of Bandaranaike International Airport for scheduled maintenance at the runway, an immediate retiming was not possible and 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), today.
Malaysia Airlines 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.