Travellers to Bali had their school holiday travel plans disrupted over the weekend as a plume of ash from an Indonesian volcano drifted into international airspace. Perth, meanwhile, was shrouded in dense fog.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said volcanic ash from Mount Raung drifted toward Denpasar Airport following an eruption on Thursday.
BoM says it could be days before it clears, ABC News reported, though observers described the plume as weak and some said those on the ground in Bali couldn’t see it.
The plume forced Jetstar to cancel 14 flights on Saturday.
On Sunday (yesterday), Jetstar advised: “Unless previously advised, all Jetstar daylight services in and out of Bali for Sunday 5 July 2015 will operate to schedule today due to improved weather conditions in the vicinity of Denpasar International Airport.
“Please note the conditions remain variable – we continue to monitor the weather conditions and ash cloud closely and will advise passengers directly if the situation changes.
Virgin Australia said it diverted four flights to and from Denpasar on Saturday, and four more cancelled on Sunday.
Virgin Australia services to and from Denpasar returned to normal yesterday.
“There are changes to some flight times so we encourage customers to check their flight status here or contact our guest contact centre on 13 67 89 or +61 7 3295 2296,” Virgin advised yesterday.
“Our team of meteorologists will continue to monitor the situation in consultation with the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre. The safety of our guests and crew is our highest priority, and we appreciate customers’ understanding during this time.
“We are working hard to get customers on their way as soon as possible. For customers whose flights have been cancelled as a result of the volcanic activity are able to change their booking to another flight within 14 days at no extra charge or receive a full travel credit.”
In a strange irony, thick fog shrouding Perth airport at the same time forced an AirAsia flight to from Kuala Lumpur to Perth to divert to Bali, ABC News reported.
And a traveller waiting at Perth Airport for more than five hours on Saturday after his Jetstar flight was delayed spoke of general disgust when the stranded travellers heard a boarding call for AirAsia from Perth to Denpasar.
Fog over Perth forced a Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft with two patients aboard to land on Rottnest Island.
The patients were collected from Newman around midnight, but the plane could not land at either Perth or Jandakot airports.
Two flights from China, operated by China Southern Airlines and Cathay Pacific, were diverted to Adelaide because of fog over Perth.
Written by Peter Needham