Indonesia shuts Bali airport for second day running

Indonesia shuts Bali airport for second day running

JAKARTA - Agence France-Presse
Indonesia shuts Bali airport for second day running

AFP photo

Bali’s international airport will remain closed until Nov. 6 due to ash erupting from a nearby volcano, Indonesian officials said, grounding hundreds of flights for a second consecutive day.

The Ngurah Rai International Airport on the resort island has been closed since late Nov. 3, because of a large ash cloud drifting from Mount Rinjani, an active volcano on the nearby island of Lombok. 

Authorities on Nov. 5, confirmed Bali’s major terminal would remain closed until at least Nov. 6, morning, leaving thousands of passengers in the lurch for another day, as they wait for conditions above the airport to improve.

“The closure of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport... will be extended until approximately 07:45am (0045GMT) on Nov. 6 because of volcanic ash from Mt Rinjani,” transport ministry spokesman J.A. Barata told AFP by text message.

Two airports on Lombok, including the international terminal, and a smaller airport on East Java that were all affected by the ash would also remain shut, he added.

Nearly 700 flights, including 320 international ones, were cancelled since the airport’s initial closure, airport manager Trikora Harjo said. He did not have an updated figure on how many more would be cancelled as a result of this latest decision.

The mass cancellations spell travel chaos for thousands of stranded passengers in Bali, including India’s Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, who wrapped up a state visit on Nov. 4, and was due to depart the holiday island until his flight was grounded.