No more meal service on board SIA flights during turbulence

The interior of Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321 after an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. - Reuters

SINGAPORE: In-flight meal services will now be suspended when the seat-belt sign lights up on a Singapore Airlines plane as part of efforts to take a more cautious approach to managing turbulence in the air.

Cabin crew will also sit down and fasten their seat belts when the seat-belt sign is lit, SIA said on May 23 in response to queries.

But unlike in the past – when only hot drinks would be cut off during turbulence – the new measures would require all meal and drink services to stop when the ride gets bumpy.

Other existing safety measures that kick in during poor weather conditions will remain in place.

These include getting crew members to secure loose items in the cabin, advising passengers to return to their seats and buckle up, and monitoring passengers who may need assistance, such as those in the toilet.

A spokesman for the carrier said: “SIA will continue to review our processes as the safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.”

On May 21, Flight SQ321, which was heading to Singapore from London, experienced sudden extreme turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar during the breakfast service. One passenger – 73-year-old Briton Geoffrey Kitchen – died and dozens were injured.

The pilot diverted the Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 3.45pm (4.45pm Singapore time) after declaring a medical emergency, before making an emergency landing.

It is the first SIA aviation accident involving a fatality since the SQ006 crash in Taiwan in October 2000.

In a Facebook update on May 23, SIA said 46 passengers and two crew members aboard Flight SQ321 remain in the Thai capital for medical treatment.

Dr Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, director of Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, said there were a total of 40 patients from Flight SQ321 at the hospital, among whom 22 have spinal cord injuries and six have brain and skull injuries.

He added that 20 people remained in intensive care at the hospital, although none were life-threatening cases.

The oldest patient at the hospital is 83, while the youngest is a two-year-old child who suffered a concussion. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore. SIA , meals , turbulence


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