Singapore Flyer still grounded after 2 weeks; cause of technical issue identified

The Singapore Flyer has suspended operations due to a technical issue on Jan 25, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Flyer is still grounded, more than two weeks after its operator announced that it was suspending operations due to a technical issue on Jan 25.

A spokesman for the Flyer told The Straits Times on Friday (Feb 9) that it has identified the cause of the technical issue.

"We are working closely with the appointed independent specialist professional engineer to rectify this," said the spokesman, without elaborating on what caused the issue.

"Safety is our utmost priority and we will resume flight operations only when all necessary tests are completed," she said, adding that they were unable to comment any further as investigations are ongoing.

The spokesman did not specify how many customers have been affected since the grounding of the Flyer began, but said that those who are affected will get ticket refunds.

"Those who booked via our travel partners have been advised to contact them directly to make alternative arrangements," she said.

Since all flight operations were ceased, there has been a lower footfall of visitors, said the spokesman.

"We understand that some of our tenants have been impacted by this and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. We are working closely with our tenants to evaluate how to ease through this period," she said.

Several tourists have left comments on the attraction's Facebook page, asking if the services were back up.

In response to a message by the Singapore Flyer that said flight operations are still suspended until further notice, Patrick Flynn wrote on Monday: "Thanks for the reply. It is very sad. We are going home tonight."

The Flyer apologised to Mr Flynn for the disappointment and inconvenience caused.

"We are working on it to ensure the safety of all passengers and we look forward to having you guys over on your next trip," it wrote.

The Singapore Flyer, which is 165m tall and has a diameter of 150m, was officially launched in 2008.

According to its website, the wheel has a total capacity of 784 passengers in its 28 capsules, which can hold up to 28 passengers each.

Adult tickets for the Flyer are priced from $33, while children aged between three and 12 can enter for $21 each. Seniors aged 60 and above are charged $24 per ticket, according to the Flyer's website.

Tourist attraction operator Straco's subsidiary, Straco Leisure, bought over the Singapore Flyer in 2014 for $140 million when the company behind it was placed in receivership in 2013.

It managed to turn around the Flyer, and in its 2015 annual report, Straco said that the Flyer had been profitable since end-November 2014.

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