Airport reopens after 12hr closure due to volcano eruption


Indonesian authorities shut Bali's global airport for a second time in seven months as a fresh eruption Thursday at Mount Agung near the popular tourist island sent volcanic ashes several miles high into the sky.

The early morning closure of Ngurah Rai airport sparked the cancellation of almost 280 flights to and from the tropical paradise with some 15,700 passengers affected, according to revised figures from an airport spokesman.

Mount Aging, an active volcano in northeastern Bali, has been puffing since late past year.

Mount Agung volcano erupts during the night, as seen from Kubu, Karangasem Regency in Bali, Indonesia on June 29, 2018.

A number of flights between Australia and Bali have been cancelled or turned back due to ash from the eruption of the island's Mount Agung.

Have your travel plans been affected by Mount Agung? Volcanic ash can damage aircraft engines, clog fuel and cooling systems, and affect visibility.

The budget airline said in a statement that the Ngurah Rai International Airport was closed today, from 3 am to 7 pm (same time as in Malaysia).

Its public relations department said 26 worldwide inbound and outbound flights had been cancelled, affecting almost 5,000 travellers.

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Denpasar Airport is closed as a result of the volcanic activity.

"Denpasar Airport is now closed and we are monitoring the advice from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and our team of senior pilots and meteorologists will make an assessment when flights can be resumed", the statement said.

The volcano is about 75km from Bali's tourist hub in Kuta.

No other airlines have cancelled flights yet.

Tens of thousands of locals fled to evacuation centres after last year's eruption.

Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar and AirAsia cancelled flights earlier today.

"We will try our best to find a solution so all visitors can continue their trip", Made Mangku Pastika said.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.