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HomeTravelSingapore Airlines offers compensation of $10,000 to passengers hurt by extreme turbulence...

Singapore Airlines offers compensation of $10,000 to passengers hurt by extreme turbulence – ET TravelWorld

Singapore Airlines (SIA) on Tuesday said that it has offered a compensation of $10,000 to passengers who suffered minor injuries on a flight that encountered severe turbulence last month, adding that it will engage in discussions with those who sustained more serious injuries to determine higher compensation amounts.

The incident occurred on flight SQ321 from London to Singapore, which was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, that ran into sudden turbulence over the Irrawaddy basin on May 20, hurling people and items around the cabin.

A 73-year-old British man lost his life, and several other passengers and crew suffered injuries to their skull, brain, and spine during the harrowing high-altitude event. The pilots made the decision to divert the aircraft to Bangkok, where the injured were taken to hospitals.
“For those who sustained more serious injuries… we have invited them to discuss a compensation offer to meet each of their specific circumstances when they feel well and ready to do so,” the airline said.

“Passengers medically assessed as having sustained serious injuries, requiring long-term medical care, and requesting financial assistance are offered an advance payment of US$25,000 to address their immediate needs,” it said.
“This will be part of the final compensation that these passengers will receive,” the airline added.

Singapore Airlines sign two key agreements to enhance commercial and sustainability initiatives

Singapore Airlines(SIA) signed agreements at the 80th International Air Transport Association (IATA) meeting to expand its network. On June 2nd, SIA and Riyadh Air, a new Saudi Arabian airline launching in 2025, signed a MoU to establish a commercial partnership. In a separate MoU signed on June 5th, SIA and Cathay Pacific Airways agreed to collaborate on a wide range of sustainability initiatives.

Furthermore, SIA has also said that it will refund the airfares of all passengers on the flight, regardless of whether they were injured or not.”All passengers will also receive delay compensation in accordance with the relevant European Union or United Kingdom regulations,” it said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 11 passengers from the flight were still receiving medical treatment in hospitals in Bangkok, according to an SIA spokesperson.

Under the Montreal Convention, airlines are held liable for damages resulting from the injury or death of passengers while on an airplane. The SIA spokesperson said, “The compensation amounts are determined by the severity of each passenger’s injuries, based on the information provided thus far by the respective medical institutions.”

“We recognise that passengers with more serious injuries may require further support tailored to their individual circumstances,” he added.

Prior to this announcement, SIA had already provided Sg$1,000 ($740) to each passenger departing Bangkok for their final destination to cover their immediate expenses.

The airline has also been covering the medical expenses of the injured passengers and has facilitated the travel of family members to Bangkok when requested.

Singapore Airlines reaffirmed its dedication to assisting the passengers and said “SIA remains committed to supporting the affected passengers who were on board SQ321.”

According to Singapore’s transport ministry, the aircraft encountered a sudden drop in altitude of 54 meters (177 feet) while flying over southern Myanmar. This abrupt change caused passengers who were not wearing seatbelts to be violently thrown around the cabin.

Authorities reported that the turbulence likely occurred during meal service when numerous passengers were not wearing their seat belts. Those on board recounted the horrifying experience, with the plane violently shaking and unsecured objects becoming airborne.

The ministry, referencing a preliminary report by Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau, attributed the incident to a “rapid change” in gravitational force or G-force experienced by the aircraft.

The investigation team, included specialists from the TSIB, the US National Transportation Safety Board, the US Federal Aviation Administration, and the plane’s manufacturer Boeing.

  • Published On Jun 11, 2024 at 03:49 PM IST

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