Airasia cancels eight international flights from Bali

Jakarta (ANTARA News) -- AirAsia Indonesia has cancelled eight international flights, following a rise in the volcanic activity of Mount Raung, which spewed volcanic ashes in Bondowoso, East Java, on Friday.

Chief Corporate Secretary of Communications of AirAsia Indonesia Audrey Progastama Petriny said in a press release here on Friday that the Ministry of Transportation had issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) stating that Balis Ngurah Rai Airport will be closed from 9:25 a.m. local time (GMT+8) to 9:30 p.m. (GMT+8) on Friday.

According to Petriny, the eruption of Mount Raung in Bondowoso, East Java, has disrupted not only her companys flights but those of international airlines, as well.

International flights that were cancelled include those that served the Bali-Singapore, Bali-Kuala Lumpur, Bali-Bangkok, Bali-Darwin, Bali-Perth, Bali-Taipei, Bali-Melbourne and Lombok-Kuala Lumpur routes, she pointed out.

Petriny further noted that the airlines had also cancelled flights from Bali to Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Solo and Bandung.

Earlier, the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center had warned all airlines to avoid flying over the volcanic ashes being spewed by Mount Raung in the districts of Banyuwangi, Bondowoso and Jember in East Java.

"The active crater of Mount Raung is expelling volcanic ashes to heights of 300 to 500 meters. However, there is potential for them to reach even higher heights due to winds," Head of Volcanic Monitoring and Observation of Western Areas Hendra Gunawan said on Tuesday.

He added that grayish smoke could be seen at heights of 400 to 500 meters, being blown by winds towards eastern and southeastern regions.

"Flights should be aware of the volcanic ashes of Mount Raung as they can reach heights of 1 kilometer," Gunawan pointed out.

The mount is a strombolian volcano, which spews thin lava and solid material, and has low gas pressure. The eruptive activity of this type of volcano can continue for a long time.