ASEAN leaders; Philippine Star

Update 20 Nov 2018: Singapore Herald received a private email showing three official flights timed between 1855 and 1915 listed as reasons for diversion. The Singapore state media however published a fake news attributing the flight diversions to weather and overcrowding.


Poor air traffic management and planning by the Singapore government saw six flights being diverted to make way for the return flights of government leaders who attended the ASEAN summit.

The 5-day summit ended on Thursday (Nov 15), and foreign prime ministers, presidents and delegates all took their own private flight home on the same day.

Six Singapore flights bound for landing between 6pm and 7.45 pm had to be diverted to other airports. Two flights, SQ861 from Hong Kong and SQ877 from Taipei, were diverted to Paya Lebar Airbase and the passengers were stuck without food and reached Changi Airport some 3 hours later. It is unknown if there were any reasonable compensation.

One flight, SQ977 from Bangkok, was diverted to Malaysia Johor Bahru. The other three flights were censored by the government.

The Singapore government also censored the actual reason for the diverted flights, and merely cited “airspace restrictions” and “adverse weather conditions”. This turned out to be fake news as there was no severe thunderstorm or anything “adverse” on the evening of Nov 15. The government also lied that normal air traffic “resumed” at 9pm, when one of the diverted flights could only return to the airport at 10.49pm.