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549 passengers stranded at Ipoh airport after flights to S’pore & Johor cancelled due to haze

The haze is that bad.

Ashley Tan | September 14, 02:03 am

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Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Ipoh airport in Malaysia on Friday, Sep. 13, 2019, as the haze affected visibility, effectively putting a halt to flights.

549 stranded

The air quality was so poor that flights from Ipoh to Singapore and Johor Bahru were cancelled and rescheduled for the next day.

At 3pm, around 549 passengers at the Sultan Azlah Shah (SAS) airport were left in the lurch, reported The New Straits Times.

One of the passengers at the airport was scheduled to fly to Johor Bahru at 3:45pm, but had yet to be called in for boarding later in the day, NST reported.

Another passenger from Singapore said that her airline had provided accommodation and food, as her flight had been rescheduled for the next day, according to Yahoo.

Here are some photos uploaded to social media of the stranded passengers camping out.

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All flight delay… #haze

A post shared by Mohd Hairulrijal Isa (@rijal20) on

Photo from @gLmavesha / IG

SAS manager Mohd Ali Osman said the airport management was working with other airlines to accommodate the stranded passengers.

Four flights diverted and rescheduled for next day

SAS manager Mohd Ali Osman said the airport management was working with other airlines to accommodate the stranded passengers.

Meanwhile, another 555 passengers who were supposed to arrive at SAS on four flights, were instead diverted to Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.

The four flights, which were scheduled to reach SAS at 9am, were two Scoot airlines from Singapore, one from Air Asia, and another from Malinda Air.

According to The Straits Times, the haze situation was so severe that flight visibility at 2pm decreased to 2,500m, leading to the disruption in operations.

Scoot flights also affected

Scoot told ST that one of their flights had been diverted on that day, while another two flights were delayed.

Passengers on the Scoot flight were given the option of disembarking at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, or u-turning back to Singapore.

The same plane was then re-timed to depart again from Singapore for Ipoh at 9am on Sept. 14, and would arrive at SAS at 10:15am.

The two other Scoot flights originally departing on Sept. 13 were rescheduled to depart the next day as well.

Scoot apologised for the inconvenience, stating that customers had been notified about the changes in flight timings, and was working to accommodate them.

One passenger, 40-year-old B.H. Lee, told ST that visibility at Kuala Lumpur was also poor, and that planes would “vanish from sight on the runway before they even took off”.

Singapore Airlines flights between Singapore and Malaysia have reportedly remained unaffected.

Haze still bad in Malaysia

The haze in Malaysia has been worsening, as the number of hotspots in Sumatra, Indonesia increase.

S’pore & M’sia experience haze from Sumatra hotspots, Indonesia environment minister denies it

On Sept. 9, the air pollutant index (API) levels were in the very unhealthy range in parts of Sarawak, such as Kuching and Samarahan.

And on Sept. 13, which was the day that flights to Ipoh were cancelled, the air quality at 11am in Malaysia ranged from moderate to unhealthy, reported CNA.

Johan Setia in Klang was reportedly the worst-affected area, with a “very unhealthy” API reading of 213.

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