Australian airlines cancel flights to Bali due to volcano

Sydney, July 22 (IANS) Jetstar and Virgin Australia airlines have announced they will again cancel all flights to and from the Indonesian holiday Island of Bali on Wednesday due to volcanic ash plume.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely. The safety of our guests and crew is our highest priority and we will keep customers updated as new information becomes available,” Xinhua news agency quoted Virgin Australia as saying in a statement.

Unfavourable winds around Indonesia have pushed the volcanic ash plume from Mount Raung, 150 kilometres west of Denpasar, back towards the airport on Wednesday morning.

Qantas’ low-cost subsidiary Jetstar – which also services Denpasar – said in a statement that one of its flights was forced to return to Melbourne due to the change in wind conditions.

The low-cost airline will make a decision on Wednesday evening’s flights when it receives further advisories on the ash cloud in the afternoon.

Volcanic ash from the erupting Mount Raung caused headaches for Australian airlines throughout July after Jetstar and Virgin Australia were forced to suspend their Bali services, stranding thousands of Australian tourists.

Both airlines had to put on countless extra services in the days after flying conditions cleared, to get Australians home.

The Indonesian island of Bali is one of the most popular overseas holiday destinations in Australia.

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