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At least 33 flights in and out of Changi Airport delayed or cancelled due to Philippine volcano eruption

SINGAPORE — At least 33 flights in and out of Changi Airport on Monday (Jan 13) have been affected by a small volcano in the Philippines spewing ash over the nation’s capital Manila.

Residents look at the erupting Taal Volcano in Tagaytay City, the Philippines on Jan 13, 2020.

Residents look at the erupting Taal Volcano in Tagaytay City, the Philippines on Jan 13, 2020.

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SINGAPORE — At least 33 flights in and out of Changi Airport on Monday (Jan 13) have been affected by a small volcano in the Philippines spewing ash over the nation’s capital Manila.

Of those, 11 were cancelled departing flights and eight were cancelled arrivals — and most were to or from Manila, with some others involving Clark International Airport, about 100km north of the capital.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Monday issued a statement advising Singaporeans not to travel to the affected area.

“Those currently in the vicinity are advised to closely monitor local news, take necessary precautions for your personal safety and heed the instructions of local authorities,” it said. “You should check with your airline or travel agent for up-to-date information on flight disruptions.”

Singaporeans are also urged to register with MFA on its website to receive useful travel information.

MFA referred to a statement by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Sunday which warned that the Taal volcano, 70km south of Manila, may experience a “hazardous explosive eruption” within hours or days.

The institute recommended that all residents within a 14km radius of the volcano’s crater be evacuated, due to the “high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami”.

The spewing of ash from the volcano, located in the middle of a lake, has forced thousands of people in the surrounding provinces to evacuate. Many schools and businesses in Manila were forced to close on Monday.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila suspended or delayed at least 240 flights on Sunday. Some operations had resumed by Monday morning but the authorities continued to monitor the situation.

In a joint statement, the Department of Transportation, Manila International Airport Authority and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said that flights would, however, be subject to slot availability.


In response to queries, some airlines told TODAY that they have been assisting their customers following the delays and cancellations.

Scoot said that three of its flights to or from Singapore were affected. One Manila-bound flight was delayed on Monday by about four hours, while another flight was grounded in Manila on Sunday and departed only at 4pm on Monday.

The budget airline has been providing customers with meal vouchers and refreshments during the delays, it said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” it added. “Customers are encouraged to check their emails registered with us, as well as Scoot’s website for updates, ahead of their flights.”

Singapore Airlines had eight affected flights to and from Manila, its website stated. There were six re-scheduled flights and two cancellations.

“Our staff are assisting to rebook passengers affected by the flight disruptions,” its spokesperson said. “We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates to these and other flights (to and from Manila) via our website or our social media pages.”

Jetstar Asia cancelled a total of 10 scheduled flights to and from Manila and Clark on Monday.

It has informed customers of those flights via email and SMS, and provided them with alternatives such as changing the date of travel or options to receive a refund in the form of a flight voucher.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” its spokesperson added.

AirAsia told TODAY that while it does not operate flights between Manila and Singapore, its two flights from Cebu in the central Philippines to Singapore on Monday were not affected.


The flight disruptions caused inconvenience for some passengers at Changi Airport.

Having been at sea since April, Mr John Paul Altillero was looking forward to a smooth journey back home to his family, but the 27-year-old ran into delays on his Manila-bound flight.

The seaman, who worked on a ship transporting iron ore, docked at Singapore at 1am on Monday and had not slept when TODAY spoke to him at Changi Airport.

His Singapore Airlines flight which was supposed to depart at noon on Monday had been delayed for three hours.

“We are not angry about the delays, but we are sad at what happened to our country. Because many people around there have suffered due to the eruption and the ashes… It’s heartbreaking,” he said.

He added that his family will be safe, because they are some 500km south of the eruption in the city of Iloilo.

For 21 members of the Philippine Basketball team San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, they are not too upset that their Philippine Airlines flight to Manila was delayed from 2.10pm to 6.10pm.

They had arrived in Singapore on Saturday to play a friendly match against the national team on Sunday.

Team manager Lamont Waters told TODAY that the team was enjoying the amenities at the airport.

“I’m sure they want to go home, but we could be stuck anywhere else, and I think Singapore has one of the nicest airports,” the 40-year-old said.

“We’re just blessed that we got a flight home.”

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volcano Philippines flights Changi Airport

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