SINGAPORE - Two hundred and ninety-five passengers on a Scoot flight from Melbourne to Singapore were left stranded for at least five hours on Sunday (Jan 27), after their flight was cancelled.
Flight TR19 was due to leave Melbourne at 1.20pm locally, and was supposed to arrive in Singapore at 6.45pm local time.
In response to queries from The Straits Times on Sunday, the budget airline said that TR19 had to be grounded in Melbourne Airport for rectification works due to a technical issue.
Affected customers were transferred to Singapore Airlines flights SQ248 and SQ218 where possible, Scoot said.
SQ248 departed Melbourne at 6.15pm local time, according to flight tracking website FlightRadar24. SQ218 left Melbourne at about 1am local time on Monday.
The remaining customers who were not able to be transferred to these flights due to limited availability of seats were provided with meals and hotel accommodation, Scoot said.
They will be put on two flights departing on Monday - Singapore Airlines flight SQ238, which is scheduled to leave at 10.35am, and Scoot flight TR19 departing at 1.20pm.
"Border authorities were only able to handle a limited number of passengers at that time and so priority was given to disembark passengers bound for the earlier flight SQ248 first," Scoot said.
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During the delay, water and snacks were distributed to the remaining passengers on the plane, the airline added.
Scoot said that the technical issue was being repaired while passengers were being transferred to alternative flights.
The aircraft was "declared serviceable and staff were immediately mobilised to get the flight back on as soon as possible" after the group of passengers who were put on SQ248 were transferred.
But Flight TR19 was cancelled when it exceeded its crew flight time limits at around 6.50pm Melbourne time.
In its statement, the airline apologised for the inconvenience and disruption caused to its customers' travel plans.
Several disgruntled passengers took to social media to express their unhappiness.
Twitter user Colin Breame posted a video with the caption: "@flyscoot 7hrs stuck on the runway, no information, passengers now queuing at empty desks #flyscootsucks"
Facebook user Caroline David posted on Scoot's page, complaining about the lack of refreshments for affected passengers.
There was a long and slow-moving queue for those waiting to be re-assigned to alternative flights, she added.
Flight TR19 joins a growing list of Scoot flights which have been delayed or cancelled in recent months.
Last week, Scoot flight TR7 between Gold Coast and Singapore was diverted to Sydney due to an unruly passenger on board.
On Dec 30 last year, an electrical component defect led to the grounding of a Taipei-Singapore flight, TR899. More than 350 passengers were affected and had to spend the New Year in Taipei.
Earlier in the month, a flight bound for Singapore from Athens, Flight TR713, was delayed at least three times. Passengers were made to board and disembark the planes on three separate occasions over two days.
The flight eventually arrived in Singapore about 56 hours later than scheduled.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.