Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - The management of I Gusti Ngurah Rai international airport has lost US$40 thousand per day due to Mount Raung's eruption that has frequently forced temporary closures of the airport, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya stated.

"Due to the closures of the Ngurah Rai airport, 10,000 foreign tourists failed to arrive in Bali per day. Moreover, on a weekend day, around 14,000 foreign tourists could not land on the Island of Gods (Bali)," he said.

"In total, there were 41 thousand foreign tourists," Yahya noted while inspecting the Crisis Center Command Post of Mount Raung Eruption at the airport, here on Tuesday.

He urged the airport's management to focus on two important aspects when the airport is temporarily closed again.

First, the management must immediately announce the revised arrival and departure schedules of flights when the airport resumes operations after any temporary closures.

Second, the airport management must provide information on the alternative means of transportation for passengers to reach their destinations through the nearest cities whose airports are not affected by the volcanic eruption.

The airport management must provide comprehensive information concerning the certainty of the tourists' departures.

The minister explained that tourists, whose flights got delayed, could be transported to Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara), or Ubung Terminal and Padangbai seaport (Karangasem, Bali), or to a railway station in Banyuwangi, so that they could continue their trip through alternative routes and means of transportation.

The eruption of Mount Raung has led to temporary closures of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, since July 9, with the ash cloud drifting towards one of the worlds most famous tourist islands.

Besides Ngurah Rai Airport, four other Indonesian airports, mainly Lombok International Airport and Selaparang Airport in West Nusa Tenggara Province; Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java Province; and Notohadinegoro Airport in Jember, East Java, were also shut down temporarily due to the eruption of the volcano located in East Java Province on the borders of Banyuwangi, Bondowoso, and Jember Districts.

Editor: Ade P Marboen
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