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The Jakarta Post
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Flights to Jakarta resume, but Yogyakarta airport stays closed

  • Nani Afrida

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, November 8 2010 | 09:38 am

Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and nine other airlines said they had resumed flights to Jakarta, lifting a suspension of flights due to fears of ash from erupting Mount Merapi, an airport official said.

The other carriers that have resumed flights to Jakarta include Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Royal Brunei Airlines and China Southern Airlines, an official at PT Angkasa Pura II, the operator of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, said.

Angkasa Pura II corporate secretary Hari Cahyono told The Jakarta Post on Sunday that six airlines, including Philippine Airlines, ValuAir, Cathay Pacific, Royal Brunei Airlines, Emirates and Jetstar Asia had not resumed flights.

“Actually the airlines did not cancel their flights to Jakarta, they just rescheduled them. They will resume flights when they believe the conditions have improved,” Hari said.

Singapore Airlines announced it had resumed flights to Jakarta on Sunday after temporarily suspending them Saturday.

“We resumed the route after following the progress of the movement of the volcanic ash,” the management said in a statement Sunday.

The airline provided two supplementary flights for passengers who had their flights canceled on
Saturday.

The airline also provided hotel accommodation and meals to affected customers.

Cathay Pacific said it had also resumed flight services between Jakarta and Hong Kong on Sunday. The airline said it operated two scheduled flights to Jakarta and would also reinstate a canceled flight from the Indonesian capital on Sunday.

Mt. Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, has spewed ash for two weeks, forcing the evacuation of 280,000 people living within 20 kilometers of its crater.

Merapi is located 550 kilometers from Jakarta, but the volcanic ash from the eruptions has blown west, reaching as far as the West Java capital of Bandung, which is 400 kilometers away.

Hari said conditions at Soekarno-Hatta were safe. “The director general of air transportation at the Transportation Ministry has not issued a notice to airmen [NOTAM] and ordered us to close the airport for safety reasons,”  he said.

Unlike Soekarno-Hatta, Yogyakarta’s Adisucipto International Airport remains closed as volcanic ash continues to affect the air quality at the airport.

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said it had temporarily suspended flights to Yogyakarta from Sunday until Tuesday for safety reasons.

The airline normally flies the Jakarta-Yogyakarta route eight times a day and the Denpasar-Yogyakarta route twice a day.

Garuda official Pujobroto declined to say how much Garuda was losing, saying only that revenues would be hit as a consequence.

He added that passengers affected by suspended flights could rebook their flights.

“Passengers seeking refunds will be charged an additional fee as normal,” Pujobroto said.

He added that flights to Yogyakarta would not be redirected to Surakarta, located 100 kilometers away, because conditions in Surakarta were also not ideal.

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