5 airports closed in Indonesia as Mount Raung erupts

5 airports closed in Indonesia as Mount Raung erupts

Transport officials in Indonesia have confirmed that 5 airports have been shut because of volcanic eruption and they include those in tourist hotpot Bali.

For almost a week, Mount Raung in East Java has spewed ash into the air obscuring visibility at the Bali’s Denpasar Airport.

For the second day, many flights between Bali and Australia have been cancelled leaving travelers stranded.

The island is a top destination for Australians on holiday.

A spokesperson for state airport operator Angkasa Pura revealed that Denpasar would remain closed till 21.30 local time (13.30 GMT).

However, JA Barata, Indonesian transport ministry official said re-opening of the airports would be based on the activity of Mount Raung.

Mount Raung is 93 miles from Bali’s international airport and at the time of the blast, it emitted debris and ash 12,460 feet into the air.

Julius Barata, the spokesman for the transport ministry said the ministry had issued a notice late Thursday that all airlines should avoid routes that were close to the mountain- (read link for more details).

Close monitoring

The other four airports affected include the Selaparang Airport in Lombok, International Airport also in Lombok, East Java, Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi and Notohadinegoro Airport in Jember, East Java.

Both Jetstar and Virgin Australia on Friday cancelled all flights in and out of Denpasar Airport.

In a statement, Jetstar which was forced into cancelling flights between Australia and Bali last week said it would be monitoring the ash cloud closely 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 travelers moving as soon as possible”.

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

The eruption of the volcano has been going on for a week and has been streaming ash constantly.

The eruption is not an explosive one, just constant stream and since the summit is very high, it does not take much for the ash to interfere with flights.

The most dangerous thing for aviation is that modern jet engines pull in a lot of ash and air concentrates in engines and this turns into some form of molten glass- (read more on this link).

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

The Impact

Travelers to and those from Australia have been left stranded or not able to go on holiday as a result of the erupting volcano. Virgin and Jetstar cancelled all flights between Australia and Bali’s Denpasar airport, affecting the school holiday season.

According to forecasters, the situation is somehow unpredictable since it is a matter of waiting for the Mountain to stop erupting- (follow this link for additional information). Until the airports reopen, travelers will have to content with the situation.




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