Bali airport closure causes holiday havoc
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The closure of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport disrupted the holiday plans of thousands of travellers over the weekend.
The Denpasar hub was one of five Indonesian airports forced to close on Friday, following the eruption Mount Raung in East Java. Operations resumed at Bali airport at around midday on Saturday, but the ash cloud continued to linger in the atmosphere and further flights were cancelled on Sunday. Services at Lombok and other smaller airports in East Java were also affected.
Data from Bali airport’s operator, Angkasa Pura I, revealed that a total of 316 flights were cancelled at Ngurah Rai on Friday, affecting approximately 3,000 passengers. These cancellations included 148 international flights.
And while many stranded passengers were able to leave on Saturday, conditions changed for the worse again on Sunday, as unfavourable winds blew ash back into the flight path. The airport closed again on Sunday morning, before reopening at 4pm.
“Full, normal operations have resumed, however planes are to fly in and out from a westerly direction to avoid the ash,” Indonesian Transport Ministry spokesman, JA Barata, was reported saying yesterday afternoon.
But with Mount Raung still spewing ash into the sky and atmospheric conditions changing all the time, it seems possible that flights could be disrupted again this week.
Meanwhile South Korea, more than 150 domestic flights were cancelled on Sunday due to a typhoon, which brought high winds and heavy rain to the country. International flights were not affected.
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