Singapore Airlines flight from Mumbai delayed more than 8 hours over 'security concern'

Singapore Airlines flight from Mumbai delayed more than 8 hours over 'security concern'

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 taking off
A Singapore Airlines plane. (File photo: AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)

SINGAPORE: Passengers on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight were stranded at Mumbai airport for more than eight hours after a bomb threat on Friday (Sep 7) night, according to Indian media reports. 

The Hindu quoted officials as saying that the Air India call centre in Thane received a phone call about a bomb on the aircraft and passed that information on to the authorities.

After a "complete sanitation operation" by the Central Industrial Security Force team, the threat was eventually declared a hoax, the daily newspaper reported on Saturday, adding that efforts to identify the person behind the hoax call are ongoing. 

An SIA spokesperson confirmed that SQ423, which was scheduled to depart Mumbai for Singapore at 11.40pm local time on Friday (2.10am on Saturday, Singapore time), was delayed over a "security concern". 

The Airbus A380 aircraft eventually departed Mumbai at about 7.50am local time on Saturday and landed in Singapore just before 4pm. 

There were 328 passengers and 25 crew members on board. 

One passenger, Ms Amy Lee, posted on Facebook that the airline informed travellers only two hours after the flight was scheduled to leave that the delay was due to "security reasons". No assistance was provided to re-route passengers to other flights or a transit hotel, she wrote.

"Tired passengers who (have) not been allowed to go to airport hotel are free to walk around the airport, however, so obviously the passengers are not the security threat either."

Another passenger, Mr Aneesh Phadnis, tweeted that a security screening was conducted before the flight took off the next morning. 

The Singapore Police Force said they have been informed of the delay by SIA, and will put in place the appropriate security measures at Changi Airport.

In April, a 41-year-old man was arrested for allegedly making a false bomb threat on a Scoot flight that was en route to the Thai city of Hat Yai. 

The man was arrested under United Nations anti-terrorism regulations, and if found guilty may be fined up to S$500,000 and jailed up to 10 years. 

In February, an SIA flight from Taipei to Singapore was also delayed due to a bomb threat that turned out to be a hoax.

Source: CNA/mz(aj)