Haze disrupts Garuda's Pontianak flights
The Jakarta Post
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has said that haze from forest fires had disrupted its operations for several days at Supadio International Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.
Garuda Pontianak general manager Susanna Saragih said at least one flight on Monday to Jakarta and another flight to Ketapang, also in West Kalimantan, had been delayed due to poor visibility at Supadio airport.
Supadio airport recorded a decreased visibility of 450 meters on Moday, much lower than the 700 m minimum visibility standard for safe landings and takeoffs.
"No one can predict when the visibility will return to normal again. It depends on the wind and rain,” Susana said on Monday.
Garuda passenger Slamet Riyadi said he was already on board his scheduled Pontianak-Ketapang flight on Monday for takeoff at 6 a.m. local time. Thirty minutes later, however, the cabin crew announced that the flight was delayed and requested all passengers to disembark and wait in the airport lounge until further notice.
The aircraft was finally cleared for takeoff at around 8:50 a.m.
Susana added that Garuda's Pontianak service had also suffered a series of delays the previous Monday on Aug. 20, when the region had very low visibility of 200 m.
The visibility returned to normal the following day.
Haze also disrupted flights to Pontianak on Friday evening. The morning flights on Saturday were also canceled.
Authorities have been struggling to combat forest fires as the province enters the peak of the dry season. (sau/ipa)
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