Posts Tagged ‘flight cancellations’

New Merapi ash forces Obama to curtail visit, causes more flight cancellations

November 10, 2010

President Obama will cut short his visit to Indonesia by two hours to be able to meet a take-off window created by further ash eruptions from Mount Merapi volcano (431 km from Jakarta) last night and today. Some international flights to Jakarta on Wednesday and Thursday have been cancelled.

The Jakarta Globe.

Mount Merapi erupting again on Wednesday. Four airlines, including Qantas and Malaysia Air, have canceled flights to Jakarta. Some international flights to Bali have also been affected. (EPA Photo)

Mount Merapi erupting again on Wednesday. Four airlines, including Qantas and Malaysia Air, have canceled flights to Jakarta. Some international flights to Bali have also been affected. (EPA Photo)

Indonesia’s Merapi volcano has forced a number of international airlines to cancel flights over concerns about air safety. The volcanic eruptions in central Java also forced United States President Barack Obama to cut short his visit to the country. Obama sliced several hours off his whirlwind 24-hour tour Wednesday.

Mount Merapi, hundreds of kilometers east of Jakarta, has been spewing massive clouds of ash and gas high into the air for more than two weeks, killing at least 153 people and causing travel chaos and forcing two nearby airports to shut down. Syaiful Bahri, who oversees operations at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, says that concerns about the ash also forced several international carriers to again cancel flights into and out of the capital. Among them were Cathay Pacific, Value Air, Qantas and Malaysia Air.
An Indonesian government volcanologist said the pace of the eruption had slowed, but Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific and Australia’s Qantas canceled flights because of the ash. Cathay said it had canceled flights to and from Jakarta on Wednesday and Thursday, while Qantas canceled a Sydney-Jakarta service on Wednesday. “Cathay Pacific will monitor and assess the situation and the possibility of operating flights,” the airline said on its website Wednesday. Jetstar, the low-cost offshoot of Qantas, has also changed its flight schedule for services to the Indonesian island of Bali, canceling flights that arrive at or depart from the popular holiday destination at night.
Officials said safety worries about the ash also meant Yogyakarta airport would stay closed until Monday next week at the earliest.

Mount Merapi ash cloud leads to cancellation of flights to Jakarta

November 6, 2010

Mount Merapi volcano lies 431 km from Jakarta. But the continuing eruptions over the last two weeks have pumped sufficient ash sufficiently high into the atmosphere that flights to Jakarta are beginning to be cancelled. Flights to Yogyakarta, the nearest large airport to Mount Merapi, were suspended a few days ago.

The Guardian reports:

Several airlines have suspended flights into Indonesia’s capital Jakarta after Mount Merapi’s worst eruption in a century spewed volcanic ash up to five miles (8km) into the air.

The move came as number of people killed by Mount Merapi in the last two weeks climbed to 138 after the volcano unleashed a surge of searing gas yesterday that torched houses and trees and incinerated villagers.

Officials at Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific and AirAsia fear the ash is a safety threat and could damage aircraft.

“The volcanic ash presence in the airways surrounding Jakarta could cause severe damage to our aircraft and engines which could impair the safety of our operations including passengers and crew,” said Azharuddin Osman, director of operations for Malaysia Airlines.

 

mt merapi erupting

Lightning strikes as Mount Merapi volcano erupted today, spewing out towering clouds of hot gas and debris, as seen from Ketep village in Magelang, Indonesia's Central Java province. Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters

 

 


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