Singapore Airlines Limited SQ0222 was forced by order of a Family Court Judge to land in Darwin - grossly inconveniencing 370 passengers and numerous crew members, and costing the Airline thousands of Australian Dollars - to stop a 3 year old child being smuggled out of the country after being cleared by Australian immigration.
The judge ordered the MEGATOP to land at 1930 Northern Territories time. Neither of the boy's parents travelled.
"Singapore Airlines deeply regrets the inconvenience caused with a court order. These types of cases pose serious difficulties for airlines, and incur substantial costs and inconvenience, particularly for customers connecting onward. But the protection of the child involved is of paramount. In the case of customers whose travel arrangements are disrupted, Singapore Airlines will seek to re-accommodate them on the next available flight and will meet their disruption costs," said Stephen Forshaw - public relations manager South West Pacific.
The flight departed SYD six minutes late at 1556. It arrived at DRW at 2012 and departed at 2112. The flight arrived in Singapore 1 hour and 54 minutes late. It is unknown if the Airline will attempt to recover the cost of this incident.
More information at the Townsville Bulletin website and the Singapore Airlines website