Glitch delays SIA plane in Milan for over 24 hours

Passengers have vented their frustration after a "speed indication fault" delayed a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight in Milan for more than 24 hours .

Some 255 passengers were kept inside the Boeing 777-300ER for about six hours as it waited on the tarmac until they were finally allowed to disembark.

An SIA spokesman said accommodation and meals were provided for them while engine components were changed and engineers ensured that the aircraft was safe to fly.

The plane was scheduled to take off at 1pm on Friday but eventually departed from Malpensa airport at 3.30pm local time on Saturday. It arrived here yesterday at 8.55am.

Taiwanese passenger Iju Shih, who was on her way to Hong Kong, told The Straits Times that the captain explained over the plane's public address system that a "data system" required for safe take-off and landing was broken.

The crew later tried restarting the plane's systems due to a computer glitch, but the plane lost power and they had to open one of the overwing exits for ventilation.

Dusk was approaching when the captain finally announced that they were calling in engineers from Frankfurt airport in Germany to fix the plane.

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

The situation was no better when she got off the plane.

"There was no guidance from the minute we left the aircraft," Ms Shih added, noting that she could see only one member of the ground crew attending the scene.

Ms Shih said SIA could have done more to live up to its reputation as "the world's best airline".

An SIA spokesman said: "We do have a clear objective to do all things possible to minimise inconvenience to passengers in a flight delay...Notwithstanding this, we do acknowledge that there are lessons we can learn from any incident."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Glitch delays SIA plane in Milan for over 24 hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe