Indonesian passenger jet makes emergency landing


JAKARTA, Indonesia — An Indonesian passenger jetliner made an emergency landing Monday after encountering engine failure while flying at 2,000 feet (600 meters), airline official said.

The plane with 122 passengers and crew onboard managed to land safely at Batam island in western Indonesia, and no one was injured, said Sriwijaya Air spokeswoman Ruth Simatupang.

The Boeing 737-200 operated by the small commercial airline ran into difficulties shortly after taking off on an 80-minute flight from Tanjungpinang airport on Bintan island to the capital, Jakarta.

The plane was still ascending when crew requested permission to make an unscheduled landing at the nearest airstrip, Batam, said airport official Indah Irwansyah. Batam lies just south of Singapore.

Airline accidents have killed more than 120 people in Indonesian in recent years, prompting the European Union to ban all Indonesian carriers from landing there in 2007.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration downgraded the country’s rating to its lower category around the same time.

Sriwijaya Air is one of dozens of privately held carriers to emerge since Indonesia started deregulating the industry in the late 1990s, bringing cheap air travel to the sprawling island nation.

Aviation authorities have warned that rapid growth, weak industry regulation and poor maintenance could lead to fatal accidents.