Lantern fest leads to 90 cancelled flights

Lantern fest leads to 90 cancelled flights

Lanterns are released into the sky during the Lanna-style Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai. The annual event prompts airlines to cancel to avoid hazards posed by the lanterns. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Lanterns are released into the sky during the Lanna-style Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai. The annual event prompts airlines to cancel to avoid hazards posed by the lanterns. (Bangkok Post file photo)

CHIANG MAI: Ninety flights, both domestic and international, at Chiang Mai airport have been cancelled due to the release of floating lanterns during the two-day Yi Peng festival that ends on Saturday night.

Many lanterns fell to earth around the airport on Friday night despite safety campaigns, said Group Capt Monthanik Rakngam, the general manager of Chiang Mai airport.

A total of 51 lanterns were collected at the airport on Wednesday, before the official start of the festival, and 30 more the following day, Thai media reported.

The release of a large number of sky lanterns forced airlines to cancel 66 domestic flights and 24 international flights. Another 97 flights have been rescheduled, said Group Capt Monthanik.

The annual Lanna-style festival is highlighted by the launch of sky lanterns. The festival is held at the same time as Loy Krathong throughout the northern region.

Earlier, Chiang Mai authorities allowed the hot-air lanterns to be flown from 7pm on Friday to 1am on Saturday, and for smoke lanterns to take off from 10am to noon on Saturday.


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