الأحد , مايو 16 2021

Volcano closes Indonesian airports

A Virgin Australia plane is seen at a gate at Gold Coast Airport on July 9, 2015 in Gold Coast, Australia. All Virgin Australia flights to Bali have been cancelled due to the impact of a volcanic eruption at Mt Raung.

Flights between Australia and Bali have been disrupted for a second day leaving some people unable to get home

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

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 told BBC Indonesian 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.”

Analysis: Chris Davies, Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin, Australia

This volcano has been erupting for about a week and it’s been streaming ash constantly.

It’s not an explosive eruption, just a constant stream and because the summit is so high it doesn’t take much ash to interfere with flights.

The most dangerous aspect for aviation is that modern jet engines pull in so much air and the ash concentrates in engines and turns into a kind of molten glass.

The ash melts, coats inside of the engine and affects fuel flow, so in the worst case scenario it can cause engines to shut off, like we say with the BA 009.

Travellers left stranded in Bali

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