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Singapore Airlines turmoil was a lesson for the industry, Emirates says

Singapore Airlines turbulence incident was a lesson for all of us in the industry, says Tim Clark

The recent Singapore Airlines turbulence incident and the way the aftermath was handled offers a lesson to everyone in the industry, Emirates Chairman Timothy Clark said.

A Singapore Airlines flight encountered severe turbulence between London and Singapore last month, leaving one person dead and several injured.

The plane was forced to land in Thailand and preliminary investigation showed the plane fell 54 meters (178 feet) in less than five seconds.

“They were a little unlucky, but the way they handled the consequences is a lesson for all of us in the industry,” Clark told CNBC’s Dan Murphy on Sunday at the Transportation Association’s 80th Annual General Meeting international airline to Dubai.

“No airline could have done more than Singapore to try to resolve the problem and deal with the consequences,” he said.

The pilots operated the controls to try to stabilize the plane as gravitational forces fluctuated, according to the investigation report, which also notes that seat belt buckle signals were activated as the incident was taking place.

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 prepares to take off on the runway of Barcelona-El Prat Airport in Barcelona, ​​Spain, May 1, 2024.

Nuphoto | Nuphoto | Getty Images

Singapore Airlines, which changed its in-flight seat belt rules and changed at least one flight route following the incident, will no longer provide hot drinks and meal services when the sign indicating the seat belt is on.

Additionally, although the daily service between London and Singapore has remained in operation since, flight data shows the airline diverted to the part of Myanmar where the turbulence occurred. Singapore Airlines did not respond to CNBC to confirm whether it had diverted the flight path.

When asked how Emirates was responding to this turbulence issue, Clark said the entire industry was working on it and he was determined to find a way to try to predict when turbulence in the air would occur. clear could happen, which seems to happen in a “random” manner. base.”

“There has been an increase in activity and turbulent effects on an almost random basis across our network. So I don’t think we are alone in this,” he said.

Turbulence-related incidents are the most common type of accident among commercial airlines, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. This covers major US airlines, as well as cargo planes and regional carriers.

—CNBC’s Sophie Kiderlin and Karen Gilchrist contributed to this report.

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