Singapore Airlines changes seat belt and route rules after fatal turbulence | Aviation

The airline says it has taken a “more cautious approach” after the incident that killed one person and injured dozens.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) changed its seat belt rules and altered at least one flight route after an episode of extreme turbulence killed one passenger and left dozens more hospitalized.

A 73-year-old Briton died of a suspected heart attack and dozens of passengers were injured on Tuesday when his flight from London to Singapore was hit by severe turbulence, forcing an emergency landing in Bangkok.

Following the incident, Singapore’s flag carrier adopted “a more cautious approach to managing in-flight turbulence”, SIA told Al Jazeera in a statement on Friday.

Under the revised policy, meal service will no longer be provided when the seat belt sign is on, the airline said.

Cabin crew will also continue to secure all loose items and equipment during adverse weather conditions and will continue to advise passengers to return to their seats and fasten their seat belts.

“Pilots and cabin crew are aware of the dangers associated with turbulence. They are also trained to assist customers and ensure cabin safety throughout the flight,” an SIA spokesperson said.

“SIA will continue to review our processes as the safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.”

The airline also avoided flying over the region of Myanmar where the sudden turbulence occurred while traveling between London and Singapore, and instead flew over the Bay of Bengal, according to flight tracking site Flightradar24.

During Tuesday’s incident, passengers crashed into the roof of the plane and their personal belongings and food were thrown around the cabin.

Forty-six passengers and two crew members, including citizens of the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines, were being treated at a Bangkok hospital as of Thursday evening.

Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, director of Bangkok’s Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, told reporters that more than 20 of them were in intensive care with spinal cord, brain and skull injuries.

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