Singapore Airlines Apologizes For Deadly 'Traumatic' Flight

The CEO of Singapore Airlines issued an apology after a flight on Tuesday, May 21, was hit with extreme turbulence, killing one person and injuring dozens.

The flight was headed from London to Singapore when it “encountered sudden extreme turbulence” about 10 hours after departing, the airline said.

The plane dropped more than 6,000 feet (1800m) in three minutes and was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok.

73-year-old British national Geoff Kitchen died of a suspected heart attack during the flight, according to widespread reports.

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said the airline was “very sorry for the traumatic experience” for those on flight SQ321.

In a video statement he said the airline was cooperating with relevant authorities on their investigations.

79 passengers and six crew members including the injured, were still in Bangkok as of Wednesday morning. Credit: Singapore Airlines via Storyful

Video transcript

Yesterday, approximately 10 hours after departure, Singapore Airlines flight SQ 321 operating from London Heathrow to Singapore encountered sudden extreme turbulence over the era basin at an altitude of 37,000 ft.

The flight had 211 passengers and 18 crew members.

The pilot declared a medical emergency and diverted the Boeing Triple 7 300 aircraft to Bangkok, landing at 3:45 p.m. local time.

We are deeply saddened by this incident.

It has resulted in one confirmed fatality and multiple injuries.

On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased.

We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ 321 went through.

Our priority is to render all possible assistance to all passengers and crew members.

Singapore Airlines swiftly dispatched a team to Bangkok last night and they have been helping our colleagues with the support on the ground.

A relief flight with 143 of the sq 321 passengers and crew members who were able to travel landed in Singapore this morning at 5:05 a.m. another 79 passengers and six crew members are still in Bangkok.

This includes the injured who are receiving medical treatment as well as their families and loved ones who were on the flight.

Singapore Airlines will continue to extend all possible support to them.

We are fully cooperating with the relevant authorities on the investigations.

We will provide updates through our social media channels as more information becomes available.

Family members and loved ones of those on board sq 321 can call our hotlines for further assistance.

Once again our deepest apologies to everyone affected by this incident.

Please be assured that Singapore Airlines is here to help and support you during this difficult time.