Bali airport shut a second day as ash cloud soars from volcano


The airport in Bali will remain closed for a second day as a volcano on the Indonesian island continued to rumble, prompting more flight cancellations while authorities scrambled to assist stranded passengers.

The Ngurah Rai International Airport at the popular Asian tourist spot will be shut until 7 a.m. Wednesday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a Twitter post. As of Monday afternoon, 445 flights and thousands of tourists were affected, Air Transport Director General Secretary Pramintohadi Sukarno said in a statement.

Anticipating a larger eruption at Mount Agung, the government raised the alert status to the highest level on Monday, as an ash cloud soared as high as 7,142 meters from sea level, moving west-southwest. Ash spreading across the skies is dangerous for aircraft as jet engines may not be able to handle the debris hurled from the volcano. The Bali airport handles about 2,600 international flights a week, according to CAPA Centre for Aviation.

Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. were among carriers that scrapped flights. Cathay said its flights CX785 and CX784 on Nov. 28 will “remain inactive until further notice” due to continued effects of the volcanic ash.