Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights SQ247 and SQ248, that were scheduled to fly between Melbourne and Wellington, were abruptly cancelled yesterday morning after the pilot failed an alcohol test that had been randomly administered.
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority was the body that had conducted the random drug and alcohol test on all crew members before the flight. According to an SIA spokesperson, the pilot “did not pass the test due to having higher than suitable blood alcohol limit.”
Singapore’s flag carrier airline added: “The pilot in question has been suspended from all operations until an investigation is undertaken.”
The SIA spokesperson further said that the airline is working with passengers who have been inconvenienced by the flight cancellations: “We sincerely apologise to those affected by the cancellation of these flights. However, the safety of our customers and crew is our highest priority. We are currently working with those customers whose travel has been inconvenienced to find suitable alternate travel arrangements as soon as possible.”
Despite the apology, affected passengers took to social media to report that the flight cancellation had been poorly handled. Stranded passengers said that the airline took several hours to make alternative travel arrangements:
@SingaporeAir terrible service on your cancelled Melbourne to Wellington flight this morning. No options given to stranded customers except to call your useless booking line! Hotel fees and taxi fares all lost not to mention a day of holiday. Appalling service
— ?Rachel (@racheleelene) September 15, 2018
— Jorge Gil (@_gil_87) September 15, 2018
Netizens responding to the news were also surprised that the pilot was only discovered to have alcohol in his system after a random check. Many social media users urged SIA to instate mandatory drug and alcohol checks before each flight to ensure the safety of the many lives on board SIA planes:
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