Damnit tyketto! You took my guess. Redoubt went KABOOM (aka, a “major explosive event”) about 1:24 Eastern with ash estimated to have gone up to 65,000’ . After the eruption, the “aviation color code” was set to red.
After a 7h 20m flight from Houston, I’m sure most of those guys have timed out… If I recall correctly, CX’s largest 747 base is in KSFO. They might have a crew swap. Now to contradict myself, CPA091D is just now leaving KSFO as of 30 seconds ago headed non-stop to VHHH, so they might not have swapped crews. To add to it, going completely off schedule, CPA071 just took off from KMIA again and is headed to Houston for the second straight day, this time with a nice daytime landing there. Oddly enough, ACARS shows B-LID still as going to fly the CPA071 Routing.
I wonder if it came down to logistics. It was definitely a freighter, so they wouldn’t have picked up any passengers, especially if the plane in question was a B744ERF… but for the crew to completely overfly Canada, then back through Canada again must have meant that as far as Visas/Passports go, they weren’t authorized to ENTER Canada. They didn’t have a base at SEA, and their only US west coast cargo divisions are at LAX and SFO. So they went to their closest base.
Seeing that Redoubt is blowing its top again, I wonder how FDX and UPS ops are at PAFA and PANC are handling it…