As flights in and out of Bali begin to resume with the I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport reopening yesterday, Indonesian president Joko Widodo is urging all relevant parties to render assistance to stranded travellers and get them home.
The airport started to operate again at around 15.00 (local time) yesterday following a meeting by related institutions and stakeholders in Bali. The decision came after the Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation was decreased from red-green to orange-green, indicating that Bali air space was safe for flights.
However, Lombok International Airport has been closed again since 10.30 up to midnight, as volcanic ashes are blowing south and southeast of Mount Agung, AirNav Indonesia announced.
Jokowi urged: “The stranded passengers (should) be served and handled with care. Don’t let them (go) unmanaged when trying to leave the island. I instruct the minister of transportation, minister of tourism, Bali governor and all regency heads on the island to join hands in handling the impact of Mount Agung eruption.”
Announcing the opening of the Bali airport, Wisnu Daryono, director of operations of AirNav Indonesia, the airline navigation service operator, said while all flights in and out of Bali can now operate normally, AirNav Indonesia will continue monitoring developments related to the activity of Mount Agung, which continues erupting.
“It is the duty of AirNav Indonesia to control the airline safety in the country’s air space. Therefore, we strive to give maximum services. We have opened crisis centres in Jakarta and Denpasar to continue monitoring for 24 hours any developments together with the regulator and related stakeholders,” he added.
He also appealed to the public to monitor updates closely and follow instructions.
Garuda Indonesia restarted services out of Denpasar last night with eight domestic flights.
Hengki Hariandono, vice president corporate secretary of Garuda Indonesia, said: “All services to and from Denpasar will operate with a few schedule adjustments on November 30. We invite passengers to check periodically our schedule as we work to minimise passenger buildups.”
Garuda has deployed bigger aircraft and added extra flights on certain routes out of Surabaya and Lombok.
More airlines are expected to resume services and add extra flights today.
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific will operate one service to Bali while Hong Kong Airlines will add one flight on top of its two daily services today for some 1,600 Hong Kong holidaymakers stranded on the island, according to the South China Morning Post.