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Published: Friday April 16, 2010 MYT 2:33:00 PMUpdated: Friday April 16, 2010 MYT 3:29:44 PM
By SIM LEOI LEOI
KUALA LUMPUR: Major airlines operating out of Malaysia are forced to reschedule or cancel flights to Europe due to the worsening impact from the Icelandic volcano ash cloud on Friday.
Malaysia Airlines said its flights to Paris, Amsterdam and London, which were supposed to have departed on Thursday and Friday, have been re-scheduled to take off on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
“The Kuala Lumpur flights to Paris, London and Amsterdam, originally scheduled for 11.35pm, 11.40pm and 11.55pm on Thursday, will now take off on Saturday.
“Similarly, the Kuala Lumpur flights to London scheduled for 10.05am and 10pm on Friday will now only depart on Sunday,” said its media relations unit in a statement here.
The airlines also advised those booked on the affected flights to watch out for updates on its www.malaysiaairlines.com website or call the MAS call centre at 1300-88-300.
It also encouraged customers to register their handphone numbers with the airlines for ease of notification via SMS.
AirAsia X’s flights to London’s Stansted airport have been postponed until further notice, according to counter staff.
Singapore Airlines also announced a cancellation of all their flights to destinations in London, Munich, Manchester in Britain, Amsterdam and Paris originally scheduled for Friday.
It asked customers booked to fly on these trips not to proceed to the airport and reminded those who had had their handphone numbers registered with the airline that they would be notified via SMS of alternative flight arrangements.
“The situation remains fluid and updates will be provided on other European flights that may be affected as soon as information is available.
Customers are advised to visit www.singareporeair.com regularly for updates or call +65 62238888 or +65 67898188,” it said, adding that the airlines would also waive cancellation and change fees for confirmed tickets to and from Europe.
The waiver is valid for tickets issued up to and including 15 April 2010, for travel up to and including 22 April 2010. The same conditions apply for KrisFlyer redemption tickets.
Emirates Airlines manager for Malaysia Kavin Martinus said customers travelling to cities like Paris, Nice, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Moscow were advised to check the status of their flight on www.emirates.com, on which information would updated every five minutes.
“Emirates customers affected by the disruption can cancel their booking or change their onward destination without charge. All re-issue and cancellation fees will be waived while the disruption is ongoing.
“Where necessary, our customers are being provided with hotel accommodation,” he said, advising passengers to check their flight status prior to departure or call 03-2058 5888.
The ash cloud has spread over the airspace covering much of northern Europe and even parts of Russia, shutting down airports, disrupting thousands of flights in and out of the continent and leaving passengers stranded.
Airplanes cannot fly into the ash cloud because of the danger of the particles being sucked into the engines and turned into glass due to the high heat emitted by the machines.
This could lead to mechanical failure on the airplanes’ engines.
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