Popocatepetl volcano forces flights from Mexico City to be cancelled


Due to ash fall from the Popocatepetl volcano this Saturday, the AICM (Mexico City International Airport) reported the cancellation of almost a hundred flights in both terminals.

Also, a significant number of flights in position were delayed; most of those affected were for domestic destinations.

According to information from the AICM, the capital's air terminal was closed from 4:25 a.m. on Saturday morning until 10:00 a.m., which meant approximately five and a half hours without operations.

The AICM reported, through its official Twitter account, that "after removing the volcanic ash, checking the runways and verifying favourable wind conditions, we resumed take-off and landing operations from 10:00 hours. Check with your airline for the status of your flight".

Flights reported in delayed position have also regularised their operations.

The AICM said that most of the affected flights were domestic destinations of Aeromexico, Volaris and VivaAerobus, and some international destinations such as United and American and two cargo flights.

The 17 landings that went to alternate airports later arrived at the AICM.


Laura Velázquez Alzúa, National Coordinator of Civil Protection, reported that this Sunday, due to the increase in the activities of the Popocatépetl volcano, it went from yellow traffic light phase 2 to yellow traffic light phase 3, but without affecting air operations.

At a press conference, the official said that the activity of the Popocatepetl volcano continues to be monitored, but although from last Friday to Sunday there was an increase in activity, this does not compare with that recorded in 1997, 2001, 2013 and 2019.

The federal official said that, with the change of traffic light, the evacuation of communities near the volcano is not yet contemplated, but they will continue with the monitoring and this Monday they will make a tour to supervise the evacuation roads.

Óscar Zepeda Ramos, director of Risk Analysis and Management of the National Centre for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) recalled that, due to the volcanic ash fall last Saturday morning, the airports of Mexico City, Felipe Ángeles and Puebla, momentarily closed operations.

In the case of the capital's airport, it returned to operation at 10:00 hours, while the Felipe Ángeles airport operated until 11:00 this Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, according to information from the Twitter account of the Hermanos Serdan International Airport in Puebla, it resumed operations on Sunday afternoon, May 21.

The official reminded that airlines know that they should not use routes near the Popocatepetl volcano, and urged the population to be aware of official reports.

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