Volcanic Ash Grounds Jetstar Airways, Virgin Flights to and From Bali
Volcanic ash from Indonesia's Mount Raung continues to impact Virgin and Jetstar Airways flights to and from Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport this week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The two airlines canceled all of their scheduled flights in and out of the popular island destination Wednesday, while some Thursday flights have already been delayed.
A Jetstar spokesman confirmed the airline's widespread cancellations Wednesday. "Following careful assessment of the latest information provided by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, Jetstar has canceled all flights in and out of Bali for the rest of the day," said the spokesman in a statement via the Herald.
Meanwhile, Virgin announced it would delay Thursday morning flights until it had a clearer picture of the conditions.
"The latest advice from our team of meteorologists and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre is that conditions in the vicinity of Denpasar Airport remain unfavorable," said a Virgin spokeswoman via the Herald.
Based on forecasts, it seems unlikely that either carrier will operate flights to and from Bali on Thursday either.
"If flying conditions do not improve, we will have to cancel further flights tomorrow morning," said the Jetstar spokesman via the Herald. "Today's forecasts indicated the ash cloud is likely to remain unacceptably close to Bali over the next 24 hours."
The spokesman acknowledged the inconvenience to travelers, but emphasized that safety is Jetstar's "first priority."
Mount Raung, which is situated roughly 90 miles west of Bali, erupted early last month, producing ash that's been causing significant headaches for airlines and travelers during the peak holiday season.
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