Passengers stranded for hours on SIA flight from Milan after delay due to technical issues

Singapore Airlines Ltd aircraft at Changi Airport in Singapore.
Singapore Airlines Ltd aircraft at Changi Airport in Singapore. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Passengers were stuck on the tarmac for about six hours when a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight from Milan to Singapore was delayed more than 24 hours due to technical issues.

Flight SQ377, a Boeing 777-300ER, encountered a technical issue while the aircraft was still on ground, a spokesman from SIA told The Straits Times.

"As the engineers on ground required more time to fix the issue, a decision was made to delay the flight and passengers disembarked normally," the spokesman added.

"Hotel accommodation and meals were arranged in Milan for affected passengers."

Some passengers on the flight - scheduled to depart at 1pm on Friday (Oct 28) - posted their grouses on social media.

One, known by his Facebook handle LV LV, said: "We were stuck on SQ377 for almost seven hours in Milan."

He added that no ground staff were in sight when they disembarked from the plane.

A video posted on Instagram by user mapys showed people milling around in a grounded aircraft. She commented in response to a question to her post: "There's a problem with the plane and we were trapped for six hours inside with no air-con!"

Another passenger, Iju Shih, told The Straits Times in an email that passengers waited on board for six hours while they waited for the problem to be resolved. Finally, they were asked to leave the plane.

"There was no guidance from the minute we left the aircraft," the disgruntled Ms Shih said, adding that ground staff she dealt with seemed unprepared for the emergency.

She was particularly unhappy at the time she lost, as she is flying to Hong Kong for business.

"I lost an entire day doing nothing but waiting on board," she said.

SIA apologised and responded to both complaints.

SIA said the flight was about 24 hours and 40 minutes behind schedule. SQ377 was rescheduled to depart Milan at 2pm on Saturday (8pm Singapore time) and was expected to arrive in Singapore on Sunday morning.

However, it was delayed for another hour to 2pm Milan time, Ms Shih said. The actual departure time was 3.31pm, according to the flight status on SIA's website.