Bali’s main airport has reopened after volcanic ash from Mt Agung forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights and derailed tens of thousands of passengers’ holiday plans on the eve of the school holidays.
Mt Agung has been active in recent months, with this just the latest in a series of eruptions which left thousands of Australian holidaymakers in limbo on the island.
Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport, the second-busiest in the country, tweeted it had re-opened and operations should soon be back to normal.
Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar and AirAsia cancelled flights earlier today.
The airport closure affected about 75,000 passengers internationally and resulted in nearly 450 flights cancelled, according to Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
Qantas to resume flights tonight
In a statement, Qantas said it planned to resume operating flights between Australia and Denpasar this evening, subject to any change in conditions.
The statement said if there were any changes to their schedule, they would contact customers through text messages and email.
The ABC is seeking comment from other airlines.
In November, 150,000 local people were evacuated from the mountain and surrounds as volcanic activity intensified.
The local economy is largely dependent on tourism and has been hit hard by the series of eruptions.
Most travel insurance policies for Bali have excluded any volcano-related incidents since it began erupting last year, as it is considered a known risk.
More to come.
Passengers at Perth airport were stranded by the eruption of Bali’s Mt Agung volcano earlier today. (ABC News: Rebecca Turner)