Malaysia haze forces flights to be cancelled at Ipoh, Sibu airports

A photo taken on Sept 14 shows stranded passengers waiting at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport Ipoh, after flights were cancelled due to haze. PHOTO: BERNAMA

IPOH - All flights to Singapore and Johor Baru scheduled to depart from Ipoh's Sultan Azlan Shah Airport on Thursday (Sept 19) have been cancelled due to haze in Malaysia.

Airport manager Mohd Ali Osman said the cancelled flights involved the Singapore-Ipoh-Johor Baru route operated by AirAsia; the Ipoh-Johor Baru-Ipoh route operated by Malindo and the Singapore-Ipoh-Singapore route operated by FlyScoot.

Mr Mohd Ali said six return flights to Singapore and Johor Baru could no longer operate on Thursday due to haze.

"Two flights were cancelled this morning since 9.45am," he said when contacted by national news agency Bernama on Thursday.

One of the affected passengers, Mr Chong Kwai Fong, 55, told Bernama he was supposed to board a Malindo flight to Johor Baru at 1.25pm today after the same flight was cancelled on Wednesday.

"At 8am, I received a message that the flight has been cancelled again on Thursday, so I had to come to this airport to get a replacement ticket for the next flight, " he said.

A check by the news agency found that Ipoh airport was crowded with people affected by the cancelled flights, including several passengers who were there to pick up replacement tickets.

Meanwhile, three flights scheduled to land at the Sibu Airport in Sarawak earlier this morning had to be diverted to Miri Airport, after thick fog and low clouds made it difficult to land.

Sibu airport manager Zainuddin Abu Nasir said the affected flights were two AirAsia flights from Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur respectively and one MasWings flight from Bintulu.

Mr Zainuddin told Bernama the Sibu-bound flight from Kota Kinabalu with 78 passengers on board was ordered to divert at 7.30am. The Kuala Lumpur-Sibu flight with 106 passengers was diverted at 7.55am while the Bintulu-Sibu flight with 17 passengers on board was diverted at 8am.

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