Singapore Airlines CEO Apologizes For "Traumatic Experience" of Passengers on Turbulent Flight

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 22, 2024 15:00 PMNews
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Singapore airliner in the air
Singapore airliner in the air. Source: unsplash

Singapore Airlines has issued an apology following a severe turbulence incident on Flight SQ321 from London Heathrow to Singapore, resulting in one fatality and multiple injuries. The Boeing 777-300ER encountered sudden and extreme turbulence over Thai airspace, affecting 211 passengers and 18 crew members on board.

Singapore Airlines Apologizes

In a heartfelt video message, Singapore Airlines CEO Mr. Goh Choon Phong expressed the airline's sorrow and extended condolences to those affected by the incident. He stated, "We are deeply saddened by this incident. It has resulted in one confirmed fatality, and multiple injuries. On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased. We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ321 went through." He assured continued support for the injured and affected passengers.

Phong explained that the pilot declared a medical emergency and diverted the aircraft to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. The turbulence caused a sudden and dramatic drop, launching unbelted passengers into the ceiling, resulting in severe injuries and broken panels. Images of the aftermath show a chaotic scene with bloodied passengers.

State of the Passengers and Crew

According to Phong, the turbulence occurred about 10 hours into the flight at an altitude of 37,000 feet over the Irrawaddy Basin. The aircraft landed in Bangkok at 15:45 local time, and medical assistance was provided immediately. Despite efforts, one passenger, identified as Geoffrey Kitchen, did not survive.

Singapore Airlines dispatched a support team to Bangkok to assist the passengers and crew. A relief flight transported 143 of the stranded individuals back to Singapore, arriving at 05:05 a.m. local time. The remaining 79 passengers and six crew members, including the injured and their families, stayed in Bangkok. The airline continues to provide updates through social media and is fully cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation.

Phong reiterated the airline's commitment to supporting all affected individuals, stating, "Once again, our deepest apologies to everyone affected by this incident. Please be assured that Singapore Airlines is here to help and support you during this difficult time."

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