Indonesian authorities said the airport in the resort island of Bali will reopen on Wednesday after a volcanic eruption had shut the facility for the past two days.
The volcanology agency lowered the aviation alert to orange from the highest red, Arie Ahsanurrohim, spokesman for Bali airport, said in a text message. The Ngurah Rai International Airport will resume services starting 3 p.m. local time. The facility, which authorities said earlier would remain shut until 7 a.m. Thursday, was closed after the Mount Agung volcano continued to belch smoke and ash and experts warned of an imminent large eruption.
Some carriers including Singapore Airlines Ltd. were offering to transport stranded passengers by buses and ferries to nearby cities to fly them out of Indonesia.
Mount Agung in Bali has been rumbling since September, prompting authorities to set up exclusion zones extending as far as 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the crater. The government raised the alert status to the highest level on Monday, as ash soared as high as 7,600 meters from sea level. The spreading cloud is dangerous for aircraft as jet engines may not be able to handle the debris from the volcano. The Bali airport handles about 2,600 international flights a week, according to CAPA Centre for Aviation.
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Airlines such as Korean Air Lines Co. and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. have scrapped flights. Singapore Air has made arrangements to move its passengers by buses and ferries to Surabaya for flights to Singapore, according to its website. Cathay said its flights on Nov. 29 and Cathay Dragon flights on Nov. 30 have been canceled.
PT Garuda Indonesia said it has resumed flights to Lombok International Airport on the neighboring island of Lombok. The national flag carrier also said it will deploy extra flights between Surabaya and Jakarta.
As of Monday afternoon, 445 flights and thousands of tourists were affected, according to Air Transport Director General Secretary Pramintohadi Sukarno. (Bloomberg)
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