SIA says safety of customers is top priority
SIA responds after BBC journalist says SIA pilot refused to make emergency landing after he suffers a heart attack onboard shortly after take-off. -AsiaOne
A BBC journalist who suffered a heart attack while flying back to London on a 14-hour Singapore Airlines flight is considering taking legal action after he said that the airline refused to make an emergency landing.
UK's The Daily Mail reported that Mr Max Pearson, 51, boarded the Singapore - London flight which landed on March 18, but suffered cardiac arrest shortly after take-off. It was also said that the airline refused comment.
However, a Singapore Airlines spokesman, Nicholas Ionides, responded to queries from The Straits Times. He said that Singapore Airlines has diverted its aircraft nine times because of in-flight medical emergencies since January last year. While he did not give details of the nine incidents, he said that the safety and well-being of customers is top priority.
But Mr Ionides refused to comment on the case involving Mr Pearson, citing consumer privacy.
Standard procedures, which is common among other carriers, when a medical emergency occurs during flight include making an announcement to ask if there is a doctor on board, and to contact the airline's ground-based telemedical service provider, MedAire. Pilots will then take into account all these factors, including recommendations from MedAire, whether to divert to the nearest suitable airport with medical facilities.
Mr Pearson himself has also refused to comment further when The Daily Mail first broke the story. He said: "I don’t want to talk about it yet. It’s a very delicate situation."
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