Thick smoke delays flights in western Indonesia

JAMBI, Indonesia -- Officials say heavy smoke from fires set by slash-and-burn farmers has so thoroughly blanketed a city in western Indonesia that the airport has had to delay flights.

State-run airline Garuda Indonesia is canceling all of this week's morning flights out of Sultan Taha airport in the city of Jambi.

The airport's operations manager, Alzog Pendra denied reports that the airport was closed entirely but said all its Monday morning flights had been delayed because of thick haze.

The local meteorology office says smoke reduced visibility in Jambi to 200 meters (yards) in the morning.

Smoke from fires set to clear land for agricultural and other development projects across Indonesia has drifted and choked neighboring Southeast Asian countries almost every year since the 1990s.