An announcement board shows canceled flights at Bali's I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on Monday (27/11). (Antara Photo/Fikri Yusuf)

Hundreds of Flights Canceled as Bali's Mount Agung Erupts


NOVEMBER 27, 2017

Jakarta. Authorities said 445 flights to and from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali — including 196 international flights — were canceled on Monday (27/11) as Mount Agung erupted and the airport was forced to close.

Alternative sea transportation was provided to and from Bali and the nearby island of Lombok for travelers stranded in Denpasar.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) raised its warning level for Mount Agung to the highest level on Monday morning.

Airnav Indonesia decided to close I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport for 24 hours at 7:15 a.m. local time after volcanic ash was detected on its runway.

"We had to close down the airport because of the volcanic ash from Mount Agung. Up until this afternoon on Nov. 27, a total of 445 flights had been canceled," Pramintohadi Sukarno, the secretary of the air transportation directorate general at the Transport Ministry said in a statement.

He said thousands of passengers have been affected by the airport closedown and the ministry had ordered all airlines and airport operators to help the affected passengers, in line with the 2015 ministerial regulation on flight delay management.

According to Indonesian flight regulations, passengers are entitled to a full ticket refund if their flight is canceled because of a natural disaster.

"Passengers must be afforded all their rights according to existing regulations," Pramintohadi said.

State-owned ferry operator ASDP Ferry Indonesia responded to the emergency situation by adding services from its ports in East Java, Bali and Lombok.

"ASDP will transfer passengers from to the canceled flights to our ferries," ASDP president director Faik Fahmi said in a statement.

At Padangbai Port in East Bali, the number of ferry passengers to and from Lombok rose by almost 200 percent on Monday.

"If the number of passengers keeps increasing, we will roll out our bigger ships like the Jatra III," Faik said.

ASDP had been providing medical masks to ferry passengers crossing between Bali and Lombok.

Israwadi, the corporate secretary of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I, said on Monday evening a total of 545 passengers have been transferred by land and sea from I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport to various destinations, including Surabaya and Jakarta.

A total of five domestic and international transit flights were rerouted from Denpasar to Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport, Israwadi said.

Lombok Airport

Israwardi said a total of 37 flights to and from Lombok International Airport were canceled on Monday.

"Twelve flights [were canceled] because of the closedown at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport and 25 more by the airlines' request," he said.

Lombok Airport was closed on Sunday because volcanic ash from Mount Agung had reached the area. The airport opened its doors again on Monday morning.

"Everything has been normal here since 6 a.m. today," Israwadi said.