By Gavin Gibbon
Eruption of Taal Volcano has seen the cancellation of 240 flights in total following the closure of Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Sunday
All Emirates airline and Etihad Airways flights to and from the Philippines on Monday have been cancelled due to the eruption of Taal Volcano.
Etihad Airways passengers, who were scheduled to fly from Manila to Abu Dhabi in the early hours of Monday morning, have been provided with hotel accommodation.
Oman Air has also suspended all flights to and from Manila from Sunday “until further notice”, with refunds and flight transfers available on all flights booked on or before January 12, travelling through to January 22.
Aviation officials said they were working to resume flights at Manila's main international airport, which was shut down on Sunday due to the risk posed to planes by the volcanic ash.
Some 240 flights have been cancelled so far, snarling plans for tens of thousands of people travelling through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Emirates flights affected include EK332 Dubai to Manila; EK333 Manila to Dubai; EK338 Dubai to Cebu to Clark to Dubai; EK334 Dubai to Manila; and EK335 Manila to Dubai.
A statement from the airline said: “Customers connecting onto the flights to Manila, Clark and Cebu in Dubai will not be accepted to travel at origin until further notice. Customers have the option to change their bookings up to seven days for tickets issued on or before January 12, 2020.
“Customers who wish to rebook their flights should contact their respective Emirates booking office or travel agent for options.”
In terms of Etihad, flights EY424 from Abu Dhabi to Manila; and EY423 from Manila to Abu Dhabi, have both been cancelled.
A spokesperson said: “Etihad Airways is monitoring the situation and will provide continuous updates.
“The safety and comfort of our guests and crew is our number one priority and we regret any inconvenience caused by this disruption.”
The eruption began with an explosion of superheated steam and rock, but by early Monday "fountains" of lava had been spotted on Taal, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
Authorities raised the alert level to its second-highest level on Sunday, saying an "explosive eruption" could happen in "hours to days".
Taal's last eruption was in 1977.
Two years ago, Mount Mayon displaced tens of thousands of people after spewing millions of tonnes of ash, rocks and lava in the central Bicol region.
The most powerful explosion in recent years was the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, about 100 kilometres northwest of Manila, which killed more than 800 people.
It spewed an ash cloud that travelled thousands of kilometres in a matter of days and was blamed for damaging nearly two dozen aircraft.transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.