Mount Agung: Jetstar and Indonesia AirAsia to resume flights

Passengers in Perth arrive at the airport to find their flights are cancelled

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has announced that it has canceled 35 flights to and from Denpasar, Bali, following the closure of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport due to the eruption of Mt. Agung on the resort island.

It said it would remain closed until at least 7 p.m. local time.

The regional volcanic ash advisory centre in Darwin, Australia, said winds could carry the ash southwest toward Java, Indonesia's most densely populated island. Volcanic ash can damage aircraft engines, clog fuel and cooling systems, and affect visibility.

"Volcanic ash around the island of Bali following the eruption of Mt Agung means it is now not safe to operate flights to and from Denpasar Airport", a Qantas statement said.

Mt. Agung, about 70 kilometres northeast of Bali's tourist hotspot of Kuta, last had a major eruption in the year 1963, killing about 1,100 people.

Local government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.

They can also contact their respective airlines to reschedule their flights or ask for a refund, depending on the options given.

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The early morning closure of Ngurah Rai airport resulted in the cancellation of 446 flights, including more than 200 worldwide arrivals and departures, with as many as 15,700 passengers affected, according to news reports.

If one looks closely, this is not the first time that Mount Agung in Northeastern Bal has erupted.

The fresh activity threatens to create travel chaos after an Agung eruption in November stranded thousands and pounded Bali's lucrative tourism industry and wider economy.

Flight Centre said a number of airlines flying from Australia to Bali had also opted to cancel or delay flights overnight and today. "We hoped that we could leave this morning, but the airport is closed", she said.

"They told us the volcano is going off so they rebooked us for this morning and we got here at 5am only to be turned away again".

"Well it's Bali, these things happen and we are fine with it".

Bali's governor said officials were working on getting visitors on their way.

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