Singapore Airlines Modifies Seatbelt Sign Policy And Route Following The Turbulence Incident

Singapore Airlines Modifies Seatbelt Sign Policy And Route Following The Turbulence Incident

Singapore Airlines, the flag carrier airline of Singapore, has been in the headlines due to the recent turbulence incident happening on the Boeing 777-300ER flight SQ321 from London to Singapore. The airline has made changes to their routes and seat-belt sign policies.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Friday, May 24, 2024, 05:11 PM IST
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Singapore Airlines SQ321 on-board scene after extreme turbulence. Photo courtesy: X/@stillgray |

Seoul: Singapore Airlines has tweaked its in-flight seatbelt sign policies and altered at least one flight route after a turbulence incident this week killed one person and left dozens more hospitalised, according to the airline and flight data.

Official Statement

The airline told Singapore broadcaster Channel News Asia in a statement that it is taking a more cautious approach to turbulence and will not be serving hot drinks or meals when the seat belt sign is on.

"SIA will continue to review our processes, as the safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance," it said. The airline did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Turbulence Incident

On May 21, the Boeing 777-300ER flight SQ321 from London to Singapore, which was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, had to make an emergency landing in Bangkok after experiencing turbulence that threw the passengers and crew around the cabin, slamming some of them against the ceiling.

Singapore Air tweaks seatbelt sign policy and alters route after turbulence incident. The daily SQ321 route from London to Singapore has completed two flights since the incident; however, it has not passed over the area of Myanmar where the abrupt turbulence occurred approximately three hours prior to the planned landing. According to tracking data, the flight time is roughly the same.

Instead, according to flight tracker FlightRadar 24's route data, they flew over the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. According to Singapore Airlines, the aircraft experienced abrupt and severe turbulence on May 21. A 73-year-old British passenger died of a suspected heart attack.

Photographs from inside the plane showed gashes in the overhead cabin panels, oxygen masks and panels hanging from the ceiling, and luggage strewn around. A passenger said some people's heads had slammed into the lights above the seats and broken the panels.

As of late Thursday, 46 passengers and two crew members were hospitalised in Bangkok; 19 others were still in Bangkok, the airline said. Twenty of the 46 remained in intensive care, an official at Bangkok's Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital said on Thursday, adding that the injured had a mix of spinal cord, brain, and skull injuries.

Modified Seatbelt-Sign Policy

Stricter compliance with seatbelt sign procedures is the main goal of the new regulations. Singapore Airlines has decided to stop serving meals and hot beverages whenever the seatbelt sign appears in order to emphasize passenger safety during turbulence.

Flight attendants also have the responsibility of making sure that passengers buckle up when the seatbelt sign is activated. When the seatbelt sign is on, flight attendants will also give priority to staying securely fastened in their jumpseats. To protect themselves and be able to react to situations faster, they will only be able to offer direct assistance to passengers when needed.

Changed Route

When the seatbelt sign is activated, it is the flight attendant's duty to ensure that passengers fasten their seatbelts. Flight attendants will prioritize remaining firmly strapped in their jumpseats when the seatbelt sign is on. They will only be able to provide passengers with direct help when necessary in order to protect themselves and respond to emergencies more quickly.

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