Bali airports back to normal – for now

Airports will close again if wind blows volcanic ash at them
Operations at Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali and Lombok International Airport are back to normal after reopening at the weekend. But as eruptions at Mount Raung are still ongoing, Indonesia’s transportation authority says there is still a possibility that they will close again if the wind blows volcanic ash towards them.
I Ketut Ardana, chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) said: “It is a force majeure and the industry here is hand in hand in helping the guests as much as we can. Most airlines are helping with waiving cancellation fees and some are giving accommodation to those who could not enter Bali. We learnt of some problems with stranded passengers who did not have extra funds for extending their stay in hotels.”
The Bali wing of the Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association issued a circular letter to the industry, including travel companies, to waive overstay charges for stranded passengers. “Unfortunately we received the notice a bit late and some clients had been charged,” Ardana admitted.
Nina Zen, Swiss-Belhotel International’s regional director for sales and marketing, said the oversupply of rooms in Bali has helped. Giving the example of her hotel in Seminyak, she said: “We are running 65-68% occupancy in our hotel in Seminyak, so we can still accommodate those who are stranded while still having rooms for the ones coming.”
In the meantime, Global Travel Media reports that Jetstar and Virgin Australia are operating bigger aircraft and adding extra flights to rescue thousands of passengers. Virgin is expected to fly about 2,000 passengers from Bali while Jetstar plans to operate 18 flights in and out of Bali, which includes 10 additional services.
TTG Asia

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