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Singapore Airlines offers $10,000 to passengers hurt by turbulence

Several passengers were injured during violent turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight from London in May 2024 which had to be diverted to Bangkok
Several passengers were injured during violent turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight from London in May 2024 which had to be diverted to Bangkok - Copyright AFP/File Lillian SUWANRUMPHA
Several passengers were injured during violent turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight from London in May 2024 which had to be diverted to Bangkok - Copyright AFP/File Lillian SUWANRUMPHA

Singapore Airlines said Tuesday it has offered $10,000 compensation to passengers who suffered minor injuries on a flight hit by violent turbulence last month and will discuss higher payouts with those more badly hurt.

A 73-year-old British man died and several other passengers and crew onboard flight SQ321 from London suffered skull, brain and spine injuries during the terrifying high-altitude ordeal.

The pilots diverted the Singapore-bound Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew to Bangkok, where the injured were taken to hospitals.

In a statement on Tuesday, the airline said it had sent out emails offering US$10,000 in compensation to passengers who sustained minor injuries during the incident.

“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.

“This will be part of the final compensation that these passengers will receive.”

In addition, the carrier said it would refund the airfares of all passengers on the flight, including those who were not injured.

“All passengers will also receive delay compensation in accordance with the relevant European Union or United Kingdom regulations,” it said.

Under the Montreal Convention, airlines are liable for damgages for the injury or death of passengers while on an airplane.

Singapore Airlines earlier gave Sg$1,000 ($740) to each passenger departing Bangkok to their final destination to cover their their immediate expenses.

It has also been shouldering the medical expenses of the injured passengers, and had arranged for their family members to fly to Bangkok when it was requested.

“SIA remains committed to supporting the affected passengers who were on board SQ321,” the airline said.

Singpore’s transport ministry has said a sudden 54-metre (177-foot) altitude drop caused unbelted passengers on the flight to be thrown violently inside the cabin.

The aircraft experienced a “rapid change” in gravitational force, or G-force, while the plane was passing over the south of Myanmar, the ministry said citing a preliminary report by Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau.

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

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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