Indonesia shuts down five airports due to ash from Mount Raung

9 July 2015 (Last Updated July 9th, 2015 18:30)

Indonesia has temporarily shut down five airports due to poor visibility resulting from the clouds of ash from East Java’s Mount Raung.

bali

Indonesia has temporarily shut down five airports due to poor visibility resulting from the clouds of ash from East Java's Mount Raung.

Located around 150km from the Bali airport, Mount Raung has been spouting ashes for nearly a week now and has disrupted traffic at what is considered to be the peak tourist season in places such as Bali.

The closures have resulted in thousands of travellers getting stranded at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Selaparang Airport in Lombok, the Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi and Notohadinegoro Airport in Jember.

"We want to take precautions so we're not allowing any flights in or out of Bali."

The airports were closed following an advice from the country's climatology, meteorology and geophysics agency.

CNN quoted a national airport authority spokesperson as saying: "We want to take precautions so we're not allowing any flights in or out of Bali."

The country's flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said in a tweet: "Due to Mt Raung eruption, airport closure is only applied for Bali, Lombok, Banyuwangi, and Jember, while others are still operating normally."

The airports will continue to remain closed today, while a decision to reopen will be based on the activity of the volcano.

Airlines are working on providing alternatives for stranded passengers. Virgin Australia said it could change its booking to a different date or an alternative destination free of cost within 14 days.

The airlines also gave passengers an option of full travel credit.

Jetstar informed its passengers that they could rebook within 14 days without any extra cost or request a Jetstar travel voucher which could be used within six months.


Image: Thousands of passengers have been stranded on the airports due to the closure. Photo: courtesy of Bali Airport Guide.