More Bali flights cancelled on forecast of volcanic ash

Published: December 02, 2017 18:00:51 | Updated: December 03, 2017 22:08:18

A Bali airport spokesman said the airport was still operating normally, but several airlines had opted to cancel some flights. - Reuters photo

Airlines cancelled more flights departing the Indonesian holiday island of Bali on Saturday, citing forecasts of deteriorating flying conditions due to a risk of volcanic ash from the erupting Mount Agung volcano.

A Bali airport spokesman said the airport was still operating normally, but airlines such as Jetstar and Virgin Australia had opted to cancel some flights, reports Reuters.

“Bali flying conditions expected to be clear throughout the day, but forecast for tonight has deteriorated so several flights have been cancelled,” Australian budget airline Jetstar said on its Twitter account.

The erupting volcano had closed the airport for much of this week, stranding thousands of visitors from Australia, China, and other countries, before the winds changed and flights resumed.

Twenty flights were cancelled on Friday evening due to concerns over ash. Some airlines including Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd have said they would only operate out of Bali during the day, as the ash could impair visibility at night and wind conditions in the area were unpredictable.

Airlines avoid flying through volcanic ash as it can damage aircraft engines, clogging fuel and cooling systems, hampering pilot visibility and even causing engine failure.

There are also concerns over changing weather conditions with a tropical cyclone south of Java island impacting weather and wind in the area, including for Bali, the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics agency said.

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