10 Jul 2015

Indonesia closes airports due to volcano

8:54 pm on 10 July 2015

Five airports in Indonesia have been shut, including in the tourist hotspot Bali, because of a volcanic eruption, transport officials say.

Passengers check flight information in the international terminal at Bali's Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar.

Passengers check flight information in the international terminal at Bali's Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar. Photo: AFP

Mount Raung in East Java has been spewing ash into the air for nearly a week obscuring visibility at Bali's Denpasar airport.

For a second day, many flights between Bali and Australia have been cancelled, stranding travellers.

The island is a top holiday destination for Australians.

A spokesperson for state airport operator Angkasa Pura said that Denpasar would be closed until at least 21:30 local time (13:30 GMT).

However Indonesian transport ministry official JA Barata said the re-opening of the airports would be based on Mount Raung's activity.

Closely monitoring

The four other affected airports are the International Airport in Lombok, Selaparang Airport also in Lombok, Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java and Notohadinegoro Airport in Jember, East Java.

On Friday, both Jetstar and Virgin Australia cancelled all flights in and out of Denpasar Airport.

In a statement, Jetstar, which was forced to cancel flights between Australia and Bali last week as well, said it would closely monitor the ash cloud and add flights to get people home.

"Like we did last week, Jetstar plans to schedule additional flights to and from Bali over the coming days, subject to flying conditions, to get travellers moving as soon as possible."

- BBC

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