SINGAPORE - Chief executive officer Campbell Wilson of budget carrier Scoot has issued an apology on Facebook for the recent flight delays that occurred in two days.
In the first incident, travellers in Hong Kong last Friday (June 19) were unable to board their Scoot flight TZ221 for more than 24 hours after the plane was grounded due to a technical fault.
The second incident involved passengers on a flight bound for Perth from Singapore. They were left stranded for nearly a day at Changi Airport after the flight - which was supposed to depart at 12.10pm on Saturday (June 20) - was delayed, also due to a technical issue.
Two videos of irate passengers waiting for the Perth-bound plane were posted on YouTube. They were seen shouting at a man who claimed to be a "handling agent" of the airline at the terminal.
In a Facebook post on FlyScoot, Mr Wilson explained in detail the reasons behind the two delays. Here is his full statement:
Scoot deeply regrets disruption to guests affected by the flight delays over the weekend. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to their travel plans.
The principal cause of the disruption was a technical fault experienced upon arrival of TZ220 at Hong Kong on Friday morning. Initial attempts to resolve the issue failed and, ultimately, a spare part and team of engineers had to be dispatched from Singapore.
With a small fleet and one aircraft out of action in Hong Kong a number of flights were rescheduled, including Saturday's TZ8 from Singapore to Perth. During checks prior to this flight, a tyre issue was detected requiring a wheel to be changed, a process that took three hours. Regrettably, this new delay meant that the operating crew could not complete the flight in their legal duty time and were obliged to stand down but, because of earlier rescheduling of flights, no standby crew were available. Consequently, TZ8 was delayed overnight until a new, rested crew was available.
The safe operation of our airline is paramount and will not be compromised. Occasional technical issues nonetheless happen, to any airline, and the smaller the fleet, the larger the effect on schedules. As Scoot's fleet grows from 6 to 11 aircraft this year our ability to absorb such events will significantly improve but, even so, Scoot is also reviewing the handling of these two flights to refine our processes and procedures.
As readers will be aware, Scoot has never shied away from the fact that low airfares come with a quid pro quo, which is that hotel accommodation is not assured in the rare event of disruption, and that travel insurance is highly recommended. These conditions are made known to and are acknowledged by every passenger at the time of booking. Notwithstanding, Scoot elected to provide hotel accommodation in Hong Kong to passengers on TZ221 and lounge access and F&B vouchers at Changi Airport to those on TZ8. Over the next 24 hours, Scoot will be reaching out to guests on the two affected flights with compensation vouchers over and above the Guest Promise stated on our website as an indication of our regret.
We again apologise to those affected, assure them that their safety was at the core of our actions at all times, and commit that we will learn from this experience.
Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer