Sunday, September 21, 2014

Singapore-bound Tiger Airways flight diverted to Batam due to bad weather

A Tigerair flight from Hong Kong touched down in Singapore four hours after it was due to land, after it landed in Batam reportedly amidst bad weather.

SINGAPORE: A Singapore-bound Tigerair flight from Hong Kong landed unexpectedly in Batam, according to a woman whose mother was on board the plane. The airline said that a windshear had forced it to make the diversion.

Ms Serena Ng said flight TR2067 was due to land in Singapore at 10.30pm on Saturday night (Sep 20), but a check on Changi Airport's website shows it only arrived at 2.41am.

Ms Ng managed to contact her mother on the phone, and learnt that the plane had landed in "an airfield in Batam." "My mum told me TR2067 attempted to land in Singapore twice, but failed, and she heard loud vibrating sounds from the engine and thunder," Ms Ng said.

Air traffic tracker Flight Radar 24 listed the A320 plane as having landed in Batam at 11.36pm.

Mr Sim Leong Chin, who had waited for his friend at Terminal 2 since 10.30pm, said he did not find it out of the ordinary for the delay. He added he was not worried although he had no information of the plane’s whereabouts until near midnight, when a staff at the airport said the plane was delayed due to bad weather.

But another lady – whose daughter was on board TR2067 - told Channel NewsAsia she was very worried. Speaking in Mandarin, she said: “The information on the arrival timings showed the plane was ‘confirmed’ at around 10.30pm.

“But shortly after that, the information under the ‘status’ column changed to ‘ask airline’. I became worried after that. What if the plane went missing?”

Despite the four-hour delay, passengers Channel NewsAsia spoke with appeared calm, and said they were relieved the plane had landed safely in Singapore.

Tigerair meanwhile, issued a statement saying that at no point during the diversion were the safety and security of passengers and crew compromised.

"Flight TR2067 was delayed due to inclement weather and the presence of windshear - a rapid change of wind speed and direction over short distances - while attempting to land in Singapore," said the airline in a statement. "After making two landing attempts, the flight was diverted to Batam to refuel and await better landing conditions as part of Tigerair's standard operating procedures."

The statement added: "The loud engine noise heard by passengers was due to the plane making a go-around which involved the powering up of the aircraft engine, which was operating optimally. At no point was the safety of our crew and passengers compromised, and the flight landed safely in Singapore at 2.41am today."

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