Go to contents

Domestic flights grounded for second straight day

Posted February. 17, 2001 19:22,   


The heavy snowfall that began early Thursday morning left the domestic air traffic system paralyzed for the second consecutive day Friday.

According to the Korea Airports Authority (KAA) and airline companies, Korean Air Lines (KAL) flight KE 1101 from Seoul to Pusan at 6:40 a.m. was the first flight cancelled and virtually of KAL`s domestic flights, excluding several on the Cheju and Pusan air routes, were grounded.

As for Asiana Airlines, 60 out of a total of 85 domestic flights scheduled for Friday were cancelled. Only a few flights to Cheju and Pusan went ahead as planned.

In the case of international flights, just one or two flights scheduled to depart Thursday and some scheduled to return Friday were cancelled. But most flights were delayed 30 minutes to one hour as aircraft de-icing work was completed.

As the number of aircraft on the ground once reached the saturation point due to the increasing number of cancelled flights, the KAA temporarily closed one runway in the morning to use as a provisional aircraft parking area. As of 2:00 p.m. at Kimpo International Airport, a total of 103 flights, including 94 domestic flights, were cancelled, and an additional 194 flights (177 domestic and 17 international flights) were expected to follow suit.

Amid a sharp fall in morning temperatures, some airline companies started to clear the snow from their planes by hand to speed up the deicing process.

A KAA official said, ¡°The situation improved as the temperature rose in the afternoon and the deicing work became faster. Nonetheless, it will be difficult for the operation of domestic flights to be fully normalized even by Saturday morning.¡±