Lingering fog disrupts air, maritime transport

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Issue 1266, Page 3
Word count: 350
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Dense fog that lingered over the territory on Monday had forced 55 flights to cancel, delayed taking off from Macau or land in other cities’ airports, while over 150 ferry sailings were also disrupted.

According to a spokeswoman of the Administration of Airports Ltd (ADA), the management company of the Macau International Airport, 21 planes that were supposed to arrive in Macau from Bangkok, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Beijing, Shanghai, Fujian, Xiamen, Chengdu, Manila and Singapore had to divert to land in airports in Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen on Monday due to low visibility.

Passengers therefore had to use other means of transportation to reach Macau.

In addition, the spokeswoman told the Macau Daily Times that 15 flights have reported delayed departure for Shanghai, Beijing, Fujian, Taipei, Nagasaki and Shizuoka in Japan.

She said “several flights” were still stranded in Macau as of yesterday’s early afternoon but some passengers were already arranged to on-board other later flights.

After the planes that stayed in other cities’ airports the night before returned to Macau, most of the remaining affected passengers could then leave the territory, she added.

Furthermore, 10 arriving and nine departing flights that were scheduled on Monday had been cancelled, according to the spokeswoman.

Passengers that were due to depart to Manila on a Cebu Pacific flight on Monday night were still stranded at the airport yesterday, after bad weather forced the plane to divert to Hong Kong. Monday’s connection was cancelled and passengers had to wait for yesterday’s flight, which only departed at around 10pm.

The ADA could not provide the total number of affected passengers but the Chinese-language Macao Daily News said up to 1,500 people were stranded at the Macau airport’s waiting lounge at night.

On the other hand, the Maritime Administration implemented one-way traffic in the Outer Harbour and Taipa channels starting 7am on Monday.

About 150 ferry sailings had to be delayed for half an hour to three hours but it was reported that order was maintained at the terminals and most of the affected passengers understood that the delays were caused by heavy fog.

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