GEORGE TOWN: Several flights were disrupted as visibility in the northern region of the peninsula fell to the lowest this year.
An AirAsia spokesman said two flights were unable to land at the Penang International Airport as the haze caused visibility to drop below the minimum level.
“Affected passengers were notified and attended to. We will monitor the situation closely and keep all passengers informed,” the spokesman said.
At 4pm, the horizontal visibility level at Bayan Lepas was 900m while Butterworth and Prai both recorded 1km.
Alor Setar did not fare any better, with visibility at 2km, while Langkawi was much better at above 10km.
More than 60 passengers were also affected when a Malindo Air flight from Penang to Malacca had to be diverted to Johor Baru.
The Star assistant chief sub-editor V. Derrick Vinesh, who was among the passengers, said the plane landed at Senai airport at 12.40pm.
“The pilot said he could not land in Subang as the haze was bad. Many people missed their appointments.
“The airline declined to get a bus or van to send us to Malacca, but later offered to fly us back to Penang. Many of us took taxis and shared the fare to travel to Malacca,” he said.
Penang International Airport senior manager Mohd Ariff Jaafar said no other flights were affected as at press time.
The Air Pollutant Index (API) in Prai, Seberang Jaya 2 and Universiti Sains Malaysia at 4pm was 115, 138 and 137 respectively.
The reading at Bakar Arang, Sungai Petani, was 120 while Alor Setar and Langkawi recorded moderate levels at 78 and 59 respectively.
An API reading of between 0 and 50 is considered good; 51 to 100 (moderate); 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy); and 301 and above (hazardous).
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