Singapore Airlines offers compensation to passengers of turbulence-hit SQ321 flight

Singapore, Jun 11 (PTI) Singapore Airlines on Tuesday offered monetary compensation and a full refund of the airfare to the 211 passengers onboard the flag carrier’s turbulence-hit London to Singapore flight last month, which led to the death of one passenger and injured many others.

On May 21, Flight SQ321 en route from London to Singapore encountered extreme turbulence. The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was carrying 211 passengers and a crew of 18 when it made an emergency landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Passengers and crew were thrown up to the plane’s ceiling before falling back down, leading to the death of one man and injuries to dozens of others.

In a statement, the SIA said compensation offers were sent to passengers on Monday.

Those who sustained “minor injuries” from the incident were offered USD 10,000 (SGD 13,500) in compensation.

“For those who sustained more serious injuries from the incident, 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 statement said.

“Passengers medically assessed as having sustained serious injuries, requiring long-term medical care, and requesting financial assistance are offered an advance payment of USD 25,000 to address their immediate needs,” the SIA said.

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

A full refund of the airfare will be offered to all passengers of Flight SQ321, including those who did not suffer any injuries.

They would also receive delay compensation under the European Union or United Kingdom regulations, the SIA said.

No mention of compensation for the 18 crew members on board Flight SQ321 was made, according to a Channel News Asia report.

Singapore’s national carrier said it also provided all passengers with SGD 1,000 each upon departure from Bangkok to meet their immediate expenses.

It added that it covered the medical expenses of injured passengers and arranged for their family members to fly up to Bangkok when requested.

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

“All affected passengers should have received their offers of compensation via email, along with information on how they may proceed with their claims,” it added.

British passenger Geoff Kitchen, 73, died on board, likely because of a heart attack, while others suffered brain and spinal cord injuries.

A 52-year-old Australian dancer was left paralysed from the chest down due to severe spine injuries suffered on the flight.

Kerry Jordan suffered a break in her spine at the C7-T1 segment, which joins the neck with the upper back, reported the Adelaide-based newspaper The Advertiser.

She also suffered a brain bleed, fractures of the C1 and C2 vertebrae at the top of the spine, and fractured ribs.