Last updated: 09:03 AM ET, Mon June 29 2015

Foreign Airline Scoot Issues 'Apology' For 22-Hour Delay

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | June 26, 2015

Foreign Airline Scoot Issues 'Apology' For 22-Hour Delay

Budget airline Scoot has issued an apology for a 22-hour flight delay that turned into a near-riot, with the term "apology" being used in the loosest terms.

CEO Campbell Wilson seemed to blame everybody but the airline – including the passengers for basically knowing what to expect from the low-fare, no frills carrier.

In short, the apology came off about as insincere as this one.

The trouble began on Saturday when a Scoot flight from Singapore to Perth, Australia, was delayed first when it arrived late.

Then the inspection failed.

Then a tire needed changing that took three hours.

Then, after boarding the plane, passengers were removed and later told that not only could the current flight crew not work because they exceeded the maximum number of hours, but a replacement crew could not be found. They were told to come back the next morning. And, oh by the way, Scott does not provide hotel accommodations.

That nearly caused a riot, as video’d by one passenger.

Days later, Wilson issued this apology.

"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. Scoot has also reached 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


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