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Phuket Jetstar Flight Forced Down in Singapore

Phuket Jetstar Flight Forced Down in Singapore

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
A JETSTAR flight from Phuket made an unexpected stopover in Singapore today because of a technical fault, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Jetstar's worst problem on the Phuket route involved a double-delay flight that ended up costing the airline an estimated $1 million earlier this year. Eventually, an empty rescue aircraft had to be sent to Phuket from Australia.

Flight JQ 28, travelling from Phuket to Sydney early today, made the unscheduled Singapore stop after its pilots discovered a problem with the plane's auto-piloting system soon after takeoff.

A Jetstar spokesman told ABC that the 288 passengers have been offered accommodation in Singapore and booked onto other flights.

Jetstar now operates more flights from Singapore. The spokesman added that Jetstar hopes to send the delayed Phuket passengers on their way to Sydney within the next 48 hours.

The incident comes on a day when Jetstar has been acknowledged as the second-largest international airline operating to and from Australia, according to latest government figures.

The low cost carrier saw its share of international traffic increase 0.4 percentage points to 8.9 percent in August, eclipsing Air New Zealand (8.6 percent) and Singapore Airlines (8.6 percent). Both Jetstar rivals saw their share fall.

Australian pasengers to Phuket form an increasingly important part of Phuket's tourism market, with Jetstar providing most services.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Forgive me if I am wrong, but if there is a problem with the auto pilot, then they can fly manually can't they?

Posted by Sean on November 3, 2010 09:10

Editor Comment:

Perhaps it's not in the union rules.

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Maybe the pilot would see this problem as being likely to get worse as the flight progressed, can't exactly pull over to the hard shoulder ! : )

Posted by seamus on November 3, 2010 11:20

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As one of the passengers involved I can say that Jetstar's response to this incident was absolutely appalling! Passengers were dumped in Singapore and kept in a gate lounge for almost 12 hours without food or drink. Hotel bookings turned out to be non-existent when exhausted passengers finally reached them. Jetstar had no staff in Singapore to assist. Appalling situation Jetstar couldn't organise a chook raffle!!! Will never fly with them again.

Posted by Ian McCarthy on November 4, 2010 04:34

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When people fly these low cost airlines, they still expect the service level of full-service airlines. The savings come from incidents like this.

A few thousand baht saved quickly backfires when things like this happen. LCCs are good for short-haul, point to point flights but I would not use them for long-haul or connecting flights.

I'm quite happy to pay a little bit extra for proper support services in case of problems.

That said, IMO Jetstar is the best LCC in this region and TigerAirways by far the worst. I use JetStar regularly for my visa run flights.

Just remember, you get what you paid for, or rather what you didn't pay for.

Posted by Chris on November 4, 2010 09:00

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Not the point Chris, safety should have no price.

Posted by graeme on November 4, 2010 16:58

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Graeme - I may have expressed myself poorly. When I referred to "incidents", I did not mean the technical failure but the level of service provided to the stranded passengers.

Posted by Chris on November 5, 2010 14:32


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