549 passengers stranded at Ipoh airport

IPOH (Bernama) – More than 500 passengers have been left stranded at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (LTSAS) after three flights were delayed due to the haze.

LTSAS Manager Mohd Ali Osman said the delay affected flights to Singapore-Ipoh-Johor Bahru (AirAsia), Ipoh-Johor Bahru-Ipoh (Malindo), and Singapore-Ipoh-Singapore (Scoot).

As of 3pm, he said 549 passengers were still at the airport pending an improvement in the weather. Flight visibility went down to 2,500 metres as of 2pm, forcing the disruption in operations.

“A number of flights scheduled to arrive at LTSAS have also been diverted to Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA),” he told Bernama yesterday.

According to him, the first to be delayed was the 9.40am flight bound for Singapore.

Meanwhile, passenger M Sundram, 52, said he was supposed to leave for Johor Bahru on the 3.40pm Malindo flight. “I didn’t expect any delay as I thought the haze was not that bad in Perak. Anyway, it’s all right… better to be safe,” he said.

Lily Ho, 45, from Ipoh said she was surprised initially but accepted the delay of her flight to Johor Bahru.

“It is understandable, except that LTSAS is not a large airport so it is rather congested with hundreds gathered here,” she said.

According to the Malaysia Air Pollutant Index Management System (APIMS), three areas in Perak recorded an air pollutant index (API) reading of more than 100 (unhealthy), namely, Tasek Ipoh (134), Pegoh Ipoh (112) and Seri Manjung (140).

The stranded passengers at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (LTSAS). PHOTO: BERNAMA