Four Singapore-bound flights diverted to Batam due to poor weather in Singapore

One of the SIA flights that was diverted to Batam on Thursday (Dec 22).
One of the SIA flights that was diverted to Batam on Thursday (Dec 22).PHOTO: BATAM FREE TRADE ZONE AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - Four Singapore-bound flights were diverted to the Indonesian island of Batam on Thursday due to inclement weather in the city state.

Among the four flights, a Singapore Airlines flight from Tokyo to Singapore touched down at Changi Airport more than five hours behind schedule after making three attempted landings on Thursday afternoon before diverting to Hang Nadim airport in Batam to refuel.

The SQ631 flight, which carried 259 passengers, landed in Batam at 2.49pm on Thursday and only left for Singapore at 7.25pm. The flight, which was scheduled to land at Changi Airport at 3.25pm, eventually arrived at 8.50pm.

The other three affected flights are a Tiger Air flight from Hong Kong with 104 passengers, a SIA flight from Brisbane with 289 passengers and a SilkAir flight from Thailand with 131 passengers. All of them arrived in Batam minutes before the SQ631 flight and departed in the evening for Singapore between 4.23pm and 5.46pm.

All passengers stayed on board at Hang Nadim airport while waiting out the bad weather in Changi, according to local authorities BP Batam.

A Changi Airport Group spokesman said decisions regarding flight diversions and landings are left to the sole discretion of the pilot and his airline.

This incident comes just a week after some 200 SIA passengers were stranded in Hokkaido for about 57 hours after heavy snow closed airport runways and caused hundreds of flight cancellations.