Authorities in Indonesia announced the closure of Denpasar airport due to a hovering volcanic ash cloud spewed by nearby Mount Raung. The development forced the cancellation of a number of flights to Bali, effectively leaving thousands stranded.
Garuda Airlines and Air Asia cancelled their flight until 9.30 p.m. (11.30pm AEST) on Friday. Virgin and Jetstar have cancelled their flights earlier to the Indonesian island, one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations. Garuda, Indonesia’s flag-carrier, said it cancelled a total of 112 flights.
Mount Raung, a volcano on Java island, had been acting up and spewing ash since last month. It erupted on July 2. Located just 150 km west of Denpasar, its volcanic ash cloud had flown intermittently towards the airport, rendering visibility almost zero.
Four other airports closed ahead of Denpasar on Thursday. These were an international airport and a smaller one on Lombok island and two in East Java. The closures had to be done “for safety,” J.A. Barata, a transport ministry spokesman, told AFP. No specifics were released on when the airports will reopen.
Affected flights that were cancelled include:
– JQ35 – Melbourne-Denpasar (10 July)
– JQ37/38 – Sydney-Denpasar / Denpasar-Sydney (10 July)
– JQ58 – Denpasar-Brisbane (10 July)
– JQ90 – Cairns-Denpasar (10 July)
– JQ116 – Perth-Denpasar / Denpasar-Singapore (10 July)
– JQ127/128 – Adelaide-Denpasar / Denpasar-Adelaide (10 July)
– JQ91 – Denpasar-Cairns (11 July)
– JQ117 – Singapore-Denpasar / Denpasar-Perth (11 July)
– JQ43/44 – Melbourne-Denpasar / Denpasar-Melbourne (10 July)
– JQ82 – Denpasar-Darwin (10 July)
– JQ106 – Perth-Denpasar (10 July)
– JQ110/109 – Perth-Denpasar / Denpasar-Perth (10 July)
– JQ117 – Singapore-Denpasar / Denpasar-Perth (10 July)
– JQ83 – Darwin-Denpasar (11 July)
– JQ107 – Denpasar-Perth (11 July)
Virgin Australia said in a statement it is monitoring the situation in Denpasar. “Once conditions improve, additional flights will be scheduled between Australia and Denpasar to ensure we can have guests on their way as soon as possible.”