Mon, Aug 11, 2008
Things Seem To Be Returning To Normal Now
Alaska Airlines announced Monday it cancelled flights to and
from Adak, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka,
Alaska, late Sunday and early Monday morning. The flights were
cancelled as a safety precaution related to the pattern of ash at
altitude created by the eruption of Kasatochi volcano in the
Aleutians Islands last week.
As of midnight Pacific time, 41 flights were cancelled --
including flights between Alaska and Denver, Los Angeles, Portland
OR, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. The
airline is monitoring the ash pattern on a continuous basis and
hopes to resume flights later on Monday.
"We recognize these cancellations will significantly impact our
customers intending to travel to or from Alaska," said Glenn
Johnson, executive vice president of airports, maintenance and
engineering. "These decisions are guided by our commitment to
safety, and we are making every effort to re-accommodate passengers
whose flight schedules have been disrupted."
Things seemed to be returning to normal by Monday afternoon,
with Alaska adding flights to accommodate stranded passengers.
Officials with other airlines serving Alaska -- including
Continental, Delta and United Airlines -- told Reuters some of
their flights had been cancelled Sunday and early this morning, but
things were now back on track.
If ingested through an airliner's turbofans, heavy
concentrations of ash may cause flameouts due to the caking effect
of the material on turbine compressor blades and fuel injectors.
Lower concentrations can severely reduce thrust, and lead to costly
blade replacements and other pricey maintenance.
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