SINGAPORE: Passengers on a Scoot flight bound for Singapore were stranded for more than two days in Greece after a technical fault saw them board and disembark the aircraft multiple times.
Scoot flight TR713 was originally scheduled to depart Athens at 11.20am local time on Dec 18. There were 321 passengers, including multiple Singaporean families on board.
The flight was delayed at least three times, however, and is now scheduled to depart Athens on Dec 20, 7pm local time (Dec 21, 1am Singapore time), Scoot told Channel NewsAsia.
"Should there be any changes, our staff will update the customers directly," the airline said in its latest statement.
In an earlier statement, it said that the passengers were first asked to disembark the Boeing 787 after it took longer than expected to resolve "operational considerations arising from equipment limitations".
Once the issue was resolved, passengers boarded the plane again only to be asked to disembark for the second time because the "operating crew's flight time limits unfortunately ran out".
"This then necessitated a grounding of the aircraft with a rescheduled departure timing of 11am local time on Dec 19. During this delay, hotel accommodation and meals were provided to customers," Scoot said.
When the passengers returned on Wednesday and the retimed flight was preparing for pushback, "Scoot was informed that flight approval had been rescinded".
"As such, customers unfortunately had to disembark the aircraft. Scoot then decided to mount a ferry flight from Singapore to Athens to fetch affected TR713 customers back to Singapore," it said.
In the meantime, Scoot added, accommodation and meals have been arranged for the passengers in Athens while they await their new flight.
"Scoot sincerely apologises for this extended flight disruption and the inconvenience it had caused to our customers’ travel plans," Scoot said.
"Affected customers can opt for a refund via vouchers or to their mode of payment, if they prefer not to continue their travel with Scoot. Customers who choose to continue their journey with Scoot will be compensated based on our Guest Promise."
MULTIPLE SINGAPOREAN FAMILIES ON BOARD
A Channel NewsAsia reader said that multiple Singaporean families were affected by the delay.
"We have many Singaporean families here stranded at Athens International Airport. We were supposed to take (the) Scoot flight TR713 that was scheduled to depart on Dec 18 at 1120hrs back to Singapore. But as of now, Dec 19, all of us are still stranded in the airport. It has been more than 24 hours," the reader said.
"The crew have cited many reasons for not being able to fly. Last was no permission from Athens airport authority," the reader added.
"Yesterday we went on the plane, waited for four hours, came back down and wait for another couple of hours and (staff) said to board (the plane) again," the reader said.
A flight delay notice handed to the reader said that the flight was delayed due to a "technical fault".
Several passengers took to Twitter, complaining about a "shocking" lack of communication. The Scoot delay also caused some passengers to miss other flights.