The volcanic eruption in Iceland, which led to the shut down of several major European hubs, had a knock on effect on the services of Asia-Pacific carriers.
Cathay Pacific moved flights from Hongkong to London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris, which were due to depart on the night of April 15, 2010 and past midnight, to the next day (April 16).
Singapore Airlines acted in similar fashion for flights between Singapore and London, Amsterdam, Paris, moving them to April 16 as well.
The carrier promised to waive cancellation and charge fees for confirmed tickets to and from Europe. This would be valid for tickets issued up to and including April 15, for travel up to and including April 22. The same conditions apply for KrisFlyer redemptions.
Malaysia Airlines, which likewise flies between Kuala Lumpur and the three cities mentioned, diverted a London service (which left at 10am on April 15) to Frankfurt where passengers were provided with one-night accommodation and assisted with onward travel by land to London. Other Europe-bound flights were delayed.
Customers holding special fare tickets with restrictive terms and conditions, which normally do not allow for change of travel dates, have been allowed to do so without any penalty fee until April 30. Refunds are not applicable.
Those with tickets that allow change of travel can do so without penalty fee. Refunds are permitted but are subject to a refund administrative fee.
Passengers are strongly adviced to check with their airline before heading for the airport.
Capitalising on an opportunity, Regus, provider of serviced offices – which are now equipped with tele-presencing technology – sent out notices urging grounded corporates to consider video-communication as an alternative to delayed appointments.
“Companies, who utilise this virtual tool will be able to proceed with planned meetings, while also saving time and money on business travel and minimising their impact on the environment,” said a Regus statement.
Margie T Logarta