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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Nearly 500 flights will be affected when Malaysia closes the airspace near its major international airport every morning for five days next week to prepare for independence day celebrations, the transport ministry said.

Malaysia's annual National Day parade, which features an aerobatic performance by the air force, is normally held on Aug. 31 in the capital city Kuala Lumpur, some 60 kilometres away from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and its budget carrier terminal, KLIA2.

But this year, the parade will be held in the administrative capital of Putrajaya, close to the two airports, the ministry said in a statement.

A total of 498 flights in and out of the airports are expected to be affected as a result of the closures, which will run from 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. (0130 GMT to 0230 GMT) during Aug.27 to Aug.31.

"The closures... are important to ensure the success of the National Day 2018 flypast and the priority is to ensure the safety of the airspace and movement of aircraft at KLIA/KLIA2," the ministry said.

It said the closures may involve additional arrangements that could lead to flight delays.

The public is advised to contact airlines and airport authorities to get the latest information and schedules, it said.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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