Indonesian authorities have kept Denpasar’s international airport closed for a second straight day due to the ash cloud from the Mount Agung volcano.
The volcano, located some 75km north east of Denpasar’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, began erupting on November 21. Those eruptions then spewed ash into the atmosphere up to a height of 4,000m over the weekend, which led to some flight cancellations on Saturday and Sunday.
The situation escalated on Monday, with authorities lifting the status from orange to red and closing the airport. Many local residents in the vicinity of the volcano have also been evacuated.
Australian carriers Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia have cancelled all services to and from the popular tourist destination that were scheduled to operate on Tuesday.
Jetstar and Virgin Australia are offering affected passengers the opportunity to change their tickets to an alternate destination at no cost, albeit with some conditions.
Virgin Australia said in a statement passengers booked to travel from Australia to Bali up until December 4 could rebook their flights to Bali at a later date or change their flight booking to Nadi in Fiji or Port Vila in Vanuatu with no fare difference to be paid.
Alternatively, passengers could change to another Virgin Australia domestic or international destination, where a fare difference applied.
Meanwhile Jetstar said those booked to flight from Australia to Bali between November 25 and December 4 could change their booking to Phuket in Thailand (from Melbourne or Sydney), Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (from Melbourne or Sydney), Singapore (from Melbourne or Perth), Nadi in Fiji (from Sydney) or Tokyo (from Cairns or the Gold Coast) or Osaka (from Cairns) in Japan at no additional cost.
Flights had to depart on or before December 14, with the return date no later than December 28, Jetstar said in a statement.
Further, Jetstar said “customers booked to travel to Bali from other cities who wish to access one of these international flights can do so but will need to make their own way to the international departure city”.
Jetstar group chief executive Gareth Evans said Jetstar the airline’s staff was doing its best to help those affected by the ash cloud.
“Our teams are working hard to assist customers who have been impacted by flight disruptions over the past few days due to volcanic ash in and around Bali,” Evans said in a statement.
“Volcanic activity is volatile and our senior pilots assess whether it is safe to fly on a day-to-day basis, with the latest forecast from Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.
“Whilst this is out of our control, we understand how frustrating the element of uncertainty can be on holiday plans which is why we are offering a range of alternative holiday options to those who no longer wish to travel to Bali.
“When it is safe to fly, we will add additional flights to get our customers moving.”