August 11, 2008
The airline had to cancel flights to and from Adak, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka, Alaska, late Sunday and early Monday as a safety precaution due to the pattern of ash at altitude created by the eruption of Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutians Islands.
According to information provided on the Alaska Volcano Observatory's website, a large drifting ash cloud from previous ash emissions on August 7 continued to be observed in satellite data over the weekend. This ash cloud drifted over the Gulf of Alaska and parts of Southeast Alaska.
As of early Monday, 44 flights were canceled, including flights between Alaska and Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. The airline is monitoring the ash pattern on a continuous basis and will re-evaluate operations throughout the day and evening based on the latest conditions.
"We recognize these cancellations have significantly impacted our customers with travel plans 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 reaccommodate passengers whose flight schedules have been disrupted."
Travelers are advised to check the status of flights at alaskaair.com or 800-ALASKAAIR. Specific information about making changes to flight itineraries due to these cancellations is available at alaskaair.com.
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