The Latest: Flights trickle from Bali after airport reopens
KARANGASEM, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on a rumbling volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali (all times local):
Bali’s airport is operating at far from its usual capacity of more than 400 flights a day after reopening while ash from the Mount Agung volcano was moving southward away from the airport.
Figures from the airport show 23 flights, mostly domestic, that carried about 1,600 passengers left after the reopening Wednesday afternoon. Inbound flights included a Singapore Airlines jet with only 2 passengers and another with 17 passengers. Many domestic flights are scheduled for Thursday but only four international flights are shown as scheduled for departure so far for Thursday morning.
Tens of thousands of travelers have been stranded since the airport was closed Monday due to volcanic ash.
South Korean flag carriers are sending two charter flights to Indonesia to bring 500-700 stranded citizens home. A Korean Air A330 is expected to land in Bali and an Asiana Airlines A330 is heading to Surabaya on neighboring Java island.
Some travelers have left Bali by ferry and made their way to airports on densely populated Java.
The airport on the Indonesian resort island of Bali has reopened after an erupting volcano forced its closure.
An airport spokesman said Wednesday that volcanic ash reaching 25,000 feet (7,600 meters) began drifting south and southeast of Mount Agung, leaving clean space above the airport for planes to land and take off.
The airport closed on Monday, disrupting travel for tens of thousands of people trying to enter or leave the popular holiday destination. Thick ash particles are hazardous to aircraft and can choke engines.
The danger, however, has not passed. Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo urged anyone still within the exclusion zone near the mountain to get out “for the sake of their safety.”
The international airport on the Indonesian island of Bali is closed for a third day due to an erupting volcano.
Bali airport spokesman Arie Ahsannurohim said the airport would be closed until Thursday morning.
He said Wednesday morning that volcanic ash has not been detected at the airport yet, but observations show it has reached an altitude of 25,000 feet and was being blown southward and southwestward toward the airport.
Tuesday’s closing affected more than 440 flights carrying more than 59,500 passengers.
Mount Agung has been at the highest alert level since Monday and has spewed clouds of ash for days.