With volcanic ash billowing more than two kilometres into the sky, the new eruption of Mount Agung has forced the closure of Bali’s international airport.
The shutdown of Ngurah Rai International, which will remain in place until at least 7pm (Friday) local time, will affect some 75,000 passengers, with 450 flights cancelled, Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation agency said in a statement.
The airport said in a tweet that Bali-bound travellers should “stay updated for every information from our official account”.
In a statement, Virgin Australia said it had cancelled flights between Denpasar and Sydney and Brisbane, and was currently reviewing delayed departures ex-SYD and BNE once the airport had opened.
Jetstar said it was “continuing to monitor conditions in Bali following volcanic eruptions”, but bravely added that “scheduled flights this afternoon and this evening are planned to operate subject to any change in conditions”.
“Customers booked on these services should travel to the airport as usual,” its statement this afternoon read.
Mount Agung has awoken! pic.twitter.com/vGkx0V2c8r— RoxanneTaylor (@Roxanne_Taylor) June 28, 2018
According to the ABC, Melbourne Airport spokesman Grant Smith said later flights today may still be able to go ahead, “but we'll have to take our guidance from the airlines once they're notified what's happening on the ground there”.
School holidays in Victoria and Western Australia, a huge market for Bali, commence tomorrow.
Located in northeast Bali, Agung has been erupting since late last year, but has been relatively quiet in recent months.