SriLankan Airlines flight UL 309 was instructed to return to Changi International Airport by the Singapore authorities due to security reasons soon after it was airborne to Colombo on April 14.
The flight later arrived in Colombo at 0042 hrs on April 15, 2016 with a total delay of 3 hours.
Issuing a statement, the SriLankan said that “upon its return to Singapore, the airport division of the Singapore Police Force requested that all check-in luggage was screened once more and also interviewed a few passengers. Accordingly, all baggage was offloaded and sent for security screening. Further, the Airport Police requested SriLankan Airlines to offload 3 additional passengers for further questioning. This was in addition to 5 passengers who were initially detained for interrogation before the flight departed.”
“In order to avoid further delays SriLankan decided to offload the family members of the two passengers offloaded for interviewing and baggage identification by the Airport Police. SriLankan provided accommodation for all these passengers, who later flew to Colombo on UL 307 of April 15, 2016.”
It also said that the five passengers, originally offloaded are still being detained by the Airport Police division.
Passengers on board the aircraft were kept informed of the situation and were cared for by the SriLankan staff.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore is yet to disclose the reasons that led to the recall of flight UL 309. However, SriLankan Airlines is in the process of requesting for a comprehensive report, as ideally all necessary inspections should be completed by airport authorities prior to releasing an aircraft for departure.
The airline commends its team in Singapore and the crew of UL 309 for handling the situation in a professional manner.
SriLankan wishes to reiterate that this incident was beyond the control of the Airline and that SriLankan always maintains the highest safety standards. The Airline considers the safety and security of customers its foremost priority, under no circumstances will this be compromised, the statement added.