Bali tourism industry in major crisis mode due to massive flight cancellation

Bali tourism industry in major crisis mode due to massive flight cancellation

The most popular travel and tourism Island Bali, also known as the Islands of Gods is living through a tourism nightmare. The island’s volcano Mount Agung is erupted again yesterday. Even though there is no direct threat to tourism infrastructure in Bali, the threat is to air traffic. Planes cannot fly through ashes, therefore Flights in and out of Bali’s airport continued yesterday amid lower volcanic activity at Mount Agung. The airport was closed last Monday due to the risks posed by ash clouds from the volcano, which has been erupting intermittently since Nov 21.

Currently, airlines  such as Singapore Airlines and SilkAir have been operating as scheduled since the airport was reopened last Wednesday.

Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia said it would operate limited flights to and from Bali, while KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has suspended all night flights.

Jetstar canceled seven flights out of Bali yesterday. The Australian budget carrier and Qantas said that while conditions were expected to be clear throughout the day, “the forecast for tonight has deteriorated and several flights have been canceled”.

Only one flight – an AirAsia service to Kuala Lumpur -was delayed out of 49 flights between 3pm and 6pm local time yesterday. Among the 50 scheduled arrivals over the same period, five – mainly from Perth and Sydney – were canceled or re-directed.

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Meanwhile, Bali remains in a state of emergency, with Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) yet to lift its highest volcano alert level.

No major tremors were detected at the volcano yesterday, but the BNPB is maintaining the 10km radius exclusion zone because of lava flows and plumes of ash clouds. Officials have advised people to stay out of the exclusion zone as conditions could change at any time.

Bali is bracing itself for a big eruption of Mount Agung, which last recorded major blowouts in 1963, when around 1,500 people died.

Experts have said it is difficult to predict when the next large eruption will occur, pointing to Mount Sinabung on Sumatra, which is still at the highest alert level after roaring back to life four years ago.

The volcano erupted yesterday at 8.45am local time. There were no casualties and no additional evacuees. The communities were already aware of the (ongoing) eruptions,” he added.

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