Lombok Praya International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara reopened at 08.50 local time on Friday (01/12) after it was closed a day earlier due to the eruption of Mount Agung in nearby Bali. (Antara Photo/Syaiful Arif)

Volcanic Ash Forces Lombok Airport to Suspend All Flights

BY :TELLY NATHALIA

NOVEMBER 26, 2017

Jakarta. The Ministry of Transportation on Sunday afternoon (26/11) issued a notice to airmen about the closure of Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara, following the spread of volcanic ash from Mount Agung in Bali.

Operations at the airport are suspended from 5:55 p.m. local time to 6:00 a.m. on Monday, state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I said in a statement.

The company's corporate secretary, Israwadi, said 16 flights have been canceled, 13 of them on domestic routes.

He said the closure is "related to the direct impact of the volcanic ash released by Mount Agung."

Angkasa Pura I has prepared Nugrah Rai International Airport in Bali and Juanda airport in Surabaya, East Java, to operate the cancelled Lombok flights.

"Ngurah Rai Airport will accommodate one Batik Air flight from Jakarta to Lombok," Israwadi said.

Earlier, flag carrier Garuda Indonesia canceled 18 domestic flights from and to Lombok.

Citilink Indonesia, a subsidiary budget airline of Garuda Indonesia, said it canceled its Sunday flight from Surabaya to Lombok.

"It is for the sake of safety," Citilink Indonesia corporate communications vice president Benny Butarbutar said in a statement.

"We will wait until 7 p.m. [on Sunday], and we hope the situation will change, so the schedule can return to normal," he added.

Mount Agung started to release ash into the atmosphere, following a string of eruptions on Saturday, making several airlines cancel their flights to Bali as well.

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