Singapore Airlines Amends Safety Guidelines Following Turbulence

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A Singapore Airlines aircraft underwent an emergency landing at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, in Bangkok, Thailand, May 22, 2024. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

Singapore Airlines will be adopting more cautious approaches to dealing with turbulence, following one of their jets that was going to Singapore, which then experienced significant turbulence, causing people and items to launch around the cabin.

This involves stopping meal services, as well as keeping all cabin crew members to remain buckled during when planes experience turbulence. Such measures follow a prior flight where one person passed away with dozens injured during a flight from London.

“In addition to the suspension of hot beverage service when the seat belt sign is on, the meal service will also be suspended,” Singapore Airlines explained. “Crew members will also return to their seats and secure their seat belts when the seat belt sign is on.” Aboard the plane, there were 211 passengers as well as 18 crew members. During the flight, the plane made a 6,000-foot (around 1,800-meter) in roughly three minutes, after which the plane then rerouted to Thailand.

Of the victims, a 73-year-old British man passed away from a suspected heart attack, while forty-six passengers and two crew members were injured, becoming hospitalized on Friday. Officials report that the turbulence occurred when meals were being served, with many not using seat belts, explaining the high casualties.

“In addition to the suspension of hot beverage service when the seatbelt sign is on, the meal service will also be suspended,” the airline said from a statement to the AFP. “Pilots and cabin crew are aware of the hazards associated with turbulence. They are also trained to assist customers and ensure cabin safety throughout the flight,” said Singapore Airline, while also adding, “SIA will continue to review our processes as the safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.”

Chee Hong Tat, Singapore Transport Minister, explained investigators in Bangkok have gathered data from the plane’s cockpit voice recorder as well as the flight data recorder. “They are going through the data from these two recorders now to be able to ascertain what happened during those moments,” Chee said.

Goh Choon Phong, the CEO of Singapore Airlines, has now apologized for the situation, while giving condolences for Geoffrey Kitchen, the 73 year old British man who passed away.

Written by Kevin Han

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