Garuda cancels 35 flights to and from Denpasar after eruption

29 June, 2018, 14:55 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Passengers in Perth arrive at the airport to find their flights are cancelled

Ash from a volcanic eruption forced the closure of the worldwide airport on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Friday, as Mount Agung volcano became active again after a lull since late past year.

The budget airline said in a statement that the Ngurah Rai International Airport was closed today, from 3am to 7pm. Following the alarm, the Airport Authority in the region cancelled more than 450 flights.

"Denpasar Airport is now closed and we are monitoring the advice from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and our team of senior pilots and meteorologists will make an assessment when flights can be resumed", the statement said.

This is not the first time that the airport has been closed due to Mount Agung and this time, 48 flights had been cancelled, affecting 8,334 passengers, including 38 worldwide flights and 10 domestic flights.

Mount Agung, in northeastern Bali, has erupted with various intensities since late previous year and in December the airport was also closed for a period and thousands were evacuated closer to the volcano.

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Despite the eruption the volcano's status has not been raised by Indonesia's volcanology agency and remained at alert level, while the Volcano Observatory Notice For Aviation has issued an orange level warning.

Local government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.

The initial numbers given were almost 450 flights cancelled and 75,000 travellers affected.

Denpasar has been shut after it was reported that the volcano was spewing out ash and flames.

Ash is unsafe for planes as it makes runways slippery and can be sucked into their engines.

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Tens of thousands of locals fled to evacuation centres after last year's eruption.

The fresh activity threatens to create travel chaos after an Agung eruption in November stranded thousands and pounded Bali's lucrative tourism industry and wider economy.

Jetstar scrapped its flights from Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane this morning to the tourist hotspot due to renewed activity at the volcano.

An earlier flight on AirAsia was called off before the airport was shuttered early Friday morning.

Australia's national airline Qantas said in a statement that it's "currently not safe" to operate Bali flights.

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"Well it's Bali, these things happen and we are fine with it".

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