Officials say dense smoke from fires set to clear land for plantations has blanketed parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island and disrupted flight operations.
“State-run Garuda Indonesia and 15 other airlines have canceled all of their scheduled flights this week to and out of Pekanbaru, the provincial capital of Riau and the nearest city to the fires,” airport official Ibnu Hasan said.
He said Thursday that thick smoke had reduced visibility to less than 200 metersand disrupted airport activity.
In addition, the smoke is also hampering Indonesian navy pilots searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner over the Malacca Strait, according to a pilot involved in the efforts.
Forest fires during the dry season in the peat-rich region anger Indonesia's neighbors Singapore and Malaysia, report said.