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Jakarta Post

Safety first: Airlines cancel flights due to smog, limited visibility

  • Rizki Fachriansyah

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Mon, September 16, 2019   /  12:19 pm
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A toll road worker directs traffic amid thick smog from forest and land fires in Pulau Semembu village, Ogan Ilir regency, in South Sumatra on Aug. 5.(JP/Ahmad Rizki Prabu)

As the government scrambles to minimize the disruptions caused by land and forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, several major airlines have canceled flights affected by limited visibility due to the thick smog permeating the airspace.

Around 100 flights have been canceled by major airlines such as flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and its low-cost subsidiary Citilink, as well as Lion Air Group’s Lion Air, Wings Air and Batik Air. The move came on the heels of the Transportation Ministry’s instruction for airlines to prioritize the safety of their passengers amid the ongoing fires.

“We call on flight operators, especially those that have delayed or canceled departures due to the fires, to provide their customers with services in accordance with their established policies,” said Polana B. Pramesti, the ministry’s air transportation...