Bali’s Denpasar International Airport will remain closed for a further 24 hours due to the eruption of Mount Agung, with the airport currently set to reopen tomorrow at 7am local time, The Jakarta Post reports.
The airport was temporarily shut down yesterday at 7:15am when volcanic ash began to spread following the ongoing eruption of the volcano, disrupting 445 flights and affecting some 59,000 passengers as of yesterday afternoon.
Nearby Lombok International Airport on neighbouring Lombok Island has, however, reopened, and authorities have arranged for buses to take travellers to ferry terminals, the BBC reports.
Meanwhile, a number of airlines, including Thai Airways, Hong Kong Airlines and Air China, whose flight have been cancelled due to the ash cloud have been waiving handling fees for affected travellers to change their flights.
Up to 100,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from the vicinity of the volcano and officials have raised the alert to the highest level. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the eruption is “steadily increasing” and that eruptions and ash falls are expected to continue for “at least the next 24 hours”.
Mount Agung began erupting last week, spewing ash into the atmosphere, which can impair visibility and damage aircraft engines.
In 2010, a volcanic eruption in Iceland caused significant disruption to air travel in Europe and beyond, with some 20 countries temporarily closing their air space to commercial jet traffic due to ash clouds.