Some determined to wait it out to catch next flight

KOTA KINABALU: Several passengers chose to wait at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, hoping to take the next flight out.

Sharif Suhaili Sharif Zainal Abidin was among those who stayed there because he needed to take the next available flight so that he could attend an upgrading scaffolding course in Johor.

ALSO READ: Many flights grounded, but it’s business as usual in Sarawak

Seen staring at the flight schedule, the 24-year-old said he was scheduled to take AirAsia’s AK5305 flight at 2pm.

“But so far, there is no update if the flight will take off,” he said.

As of yesterday morning, almost all flights were suspended following the volcanic eruption of Mount Ruang in Sulawesi.

However, several airlines had resumed operations.

Among the lucky ones were Cement Industries (Sabah) chairman Datuk Japlin Akim, who secured a 9.45pm flight yesterday for Kuala Lumpur.

He was initially scheduled to take a Malaysia Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday for a meeting.

“I came back (to the airport in the morning) and put myself on standby. I managed to secure a seat,” he said when met yesterday.

Some 20,000 passengers were affected by the flight suspension at the three airports in Sabah – Sandakan, Tawau and here, as well as in Labuan.

On Thursday, the volcanic eruption caused a plume of ash to drift into nearby airspace.

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