Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Jetstar and Qantas cancel all Bali flights

Jetstar and Qantas cancel all Bali flights

The Vietnamese Embassy in Indonesia has instructed some 60 Vietnamese citizens stuck in the Indonesian island of Bali to leave unsafe areas near Mount Agung, due to volcanic eruption, stated the Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

But it warns: "Volcanic activity and ash cloud are unpredictable and flights may be cancelled at short notice".

More than 400 departing and arriving flights have been cancelled, while thousands more travellers have had their travel plans disrupted by the volcanic eruptions which have intensified - until now - since last weekend.

"It also gets really hot and steamy It's not pleasant", he said.

A column of white smoke and ash hung above Mount Agung, where tremors continued, meteorological officials said, although with decreasing frequency, while lava sparks flash at night.

"Our senior pilots will make further assessment tonight and tomorrow morning based on the latest information from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre", a Jetstar statement said.

At the same time, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has warned that this window for airlines to repatriate visitors may only be temporary and he has also appealed to Balinese nationals to leave the 12-mile exclusion zone that is still drawn around Mount Agung where the volcano still remains very active.

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Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said he hoped that Bali, as Indonesia's most popular tourist destination, would soon return to normal because the peak of the year-end holiday season was approaching.

More than 43,000 residents near the volcano in Karangasem regency in east Bali where Mount Agung lies, have been evacuated as of Thursday, three days after the alert status on the island was raised.

Singapore Airlines, one of the leading carriers, has scheduled four flights from Bali within the space of four hours from 8pm to midnight, local time, to its hub.

If conditions remain clear, Jetstar and Qantas will look to resume flights from Australian cities to Bali in the coming days.

While the situation in Bali has shown signs of improvement, extreme weather conditions in Indonesia, led by Cyclone Cempaka, were wrecking havoc elsewhere across Java island.

An estimated 90,000 to 100,000 people live in the danger area near the volcano in eastern Bali.

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