Kuta, Bali (ANTARA News) - Two Australian airlines --Virgin Australia and Jetstar-- have canceled all flights in and out of the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, as more volcanic ash from Mount Raung flows into flight path.

The airport remained open normally despite the cancellation by the two Australian airlines, General Manager of the Nugrah Rai's Angkasa Pura I airport operator Trikora Harjo said here, Wednesday.

"So far, the airport has operated normally," he stated.

Jetstar cancelled four flights respectively from Bali to Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Singapore, he noted.
Virgin Australia cancelled 10 flights in and out of the Ngurah Rai Airport.

The flights were respectively to Bali from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth; and from Bali to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.

Virgin was quoted as saying by Australian media, new.com.au, that the eruption from Mt Raung and unfavorable winds have made for unsuitable flying conditions, and are urging customers in Bali not to go to Denpasar airport until they have a confirmed rebooking. The unfavorable winds are expected to continue throughout Wednesday.

The Bali airport authorities did not issue a Notice to Airmen (Notam) because the flights cancellations were decision of the two airlines.

Currently, two airports in East Java, respectively in Banyuwangi and Jember, have been closed as volcanic ash from Mount Raung blows towards south and southwest.

The I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali have been forced to close temporary for some times, affecting a total of 277 domestic and international flights.

More than 75 thousand passengers failed to fly due to the cancellations.

In the meantime, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has said the I Gusti Ngurah Rai international airport management lost US$40 thousand per day due to the eruption of Mount Raung that has frequently forced temporary closures of the airport.

"Due to the closures of the Ngurah Rai airport, 10 thousand foreign tourists failed to arrive in Bali per day. Moreover on a weekend day, around 14 thousand foreign tourists cannot land on the Island of Gods (Bali). In total, there were 41 thousand foreign tourists," Yahya said when inspecting the Crisis Center Command Post of Mount Raung Eruption in the airport in Bali, on Tuesday.

Editor: Ade P Marboen
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