Haze causes chaos at Riau airport

Nineteen flights were cancelled at Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Sunday because of thick haze, airport authorities have said.

"Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Sriwijaya and Fire Fly have informed us of the cancellation of their flights for today," said the airport's duty manager Hasnan as quoted by Antara.

The four airlines, Hasnan said, which had cancelled their flights since Saturday, served both domestic and international routes, including from Pekanbaru to Jakarta, Medan and Kuala Lumpur.

He added that 68 flights should have departed from and arrived at Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport, Pekanbaru, on Sunday, but as of noon, no flight activity had taken place, with visibility reduced to between 300 and 500 meters on Sunday morning. At around 10 a.m., visibility increased to around 1,000 meters.

Citing data provided by the airport's information centre, Hasnan said two airlines had informed the authorities that their flights would be ready for landing despite limited visibility of around 1,000 meters. The flights in question were an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur and a Citilink flight from Batam.