Passengers and crew on a Malaysia Airlines flight have been injured in severe turbulence, possibly providing further evidence for a scientist’s recent suggestion that turbulence in the skies is getting worse.
Malaysia Airlines confirmed that passengers and crew on a flight from London to Kuala Lumpur suffered minor injuries on Sunday when the flight ran into severe turbulence.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH1, operated with an A380 and carrying 378 passengers and crew, was over the Bay of Bengal when it hit “a brief moment of severe turbulence”, an airline statement said.
Medical crew and Malaysia Airlines senior management met the aircraft on arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia’s New Straits Times reported.
“Malaysia Airlines has assisted the 378 passengers and crew onboard MH1 and sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by this weather event which was entirely beyond our control.”
Images being shared on social media show heavy food carts overturned on the galley floor and debris strewn across an aisle. Some images show damage to overhead storage bins, which appear to be cracked.
The incident, the latest of several to hit airlines around the world, comes on the heels of a new report that says climate change will make air turbulence more common.
A study by Dr Paul Williams from the University of Reading in England, published in Environmental Research Letters, examined flights between London and New York, one of the world’s busiest routes.
It suggested that the jet steam could become 15% stronger as a result of rising temperatures, increasing the directional difference in flight times and potentially making conditions too turbulent for travel at certain times. That in turn could lead to more delays and higher fares.
“Any increase in turbulence would make flying more uncomfortable and increase the risk to passengers and crew,” the report added.
Written by Peter Needham