Singapore Airlines flight in Mumbai grounded for more than 8 hours over security concern

Singapore Airlines Flight SQ423 eventually departed Mumbai at about 8am on Sept 8 (10.30am Singapore time) after security agencies gave the all-clear.
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ423 eventually departed Mumbai at about 8am on Sept 8 (10.30am Singapore time) after security agencies gave the all-clear.PHOTO: REUTERS

Passengers on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight from Mumbai to Singapore were stranded at the airport in India for more than eight hours.

The Straits Times understands that this was after a bomb threat was received, and found to be a hoax.

Flight SQ423 eventually departed at about 8am (10.30am Singapore time) on Saturday, Sept 8, after security agencies gave the all-clear.

The aircraft, the cargo it was carrying, as well as all passengers and crew had to be rescreened.

The Airbus 380 with 328 passengers and 25 crew on board landed at Changi Airport just before 4pm on Saturday.

Confirming the delay, an SIA spokesman said it was due to a "security concern".

A Singapore Police spokesman said: “Police was informed by SIA on the delay to Flight SQ423 and will put in place the appropriate security measures at Changi Airport.”

The Straits Times understands that the plane will be diverted to a remote parking bay, for another round of security screening and checks.

Changi Airport Group spokesman Ivan Tan said: "We have been advising meeters and greeters at the airport that SQ423 has been delayed due to a security concern. We will provide updates to them when available."

Just five months ago, a 41-year-old Singaporean man was arrested for making a false bomb threat on board a Scoot flight from Singapore to Hat Yai, Thailand, which resulted in the plane returning to Changi Airport.

Flight TR634, which had left Changi Airport at 1.20pm, was escorted back by two Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SG jets.

 

Under Regulation 8(1) of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations, it is an offence for a person to make false claims that a terrorist act has been, is being or will be carried out.

Those found guilty can be punished with a fine not exceeding $500,000 or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both.

With the number of flights and travellers, especially in the Asia-Pacific, expected to continue to grow strongly in the coming decades, security is a key concern for stakeholders, including airlines and airports.

In 2017, global passenger traffic exceeded four billion, for the first time ever, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

At the same time, airlines connected a record number of cities worldwide, providing regular services to over 20,000 city pairs - more than double the level of 1995.