UPDATE: Bali, Mt Agung

28 Nov 2017

Authorities have extended the closure of Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) for another 24 hours until 0700 November 29 due to a significant eruption of the Mount Agung volcano. As of the morning of November 28, flight operations were also suspended at Lombok International Airport (LOP), where close to 50 flights had been cancelled. The airport closures could be protracted if volcanic activity continues at the current level or intensifies. Depending on wind conditions and the duration of the eruption, ash could be carried aloft and affect operations at other airports in eastern Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands (Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara), or possibly northern Australia, although problems have so far been concentrated around Bali, Lombok, and the easternmost part of Java. 

The airport closures have affected airline network operations, particularly since DPS handles many flights to and from destinations in eastern Indonesia. Individual airlines could still cancel flights after the airports reopen if airborne ash continues to be a problem on standard flight routes or approach paths to airports on Bali or Lombok. Transcontinental flights between Australia and Asia and the Middle East have been largely unaffected; some planes have detoured away from normal routes over Bali, but this has not added much time to flights. 

The alert status of Mount Agung remains at 4 - the highest on Indonesia's four-point scale - after it was raised early November 27. Authorities have ordered 100,000 residents living near the volcano to evacuate, and more people could be ordered to leave an exclusion zone that has been extended up to 10 km (6 miles) from the volcano. 

On November 27, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry issued a travel advisory for Bali, advising citizens to defer non-urgent travel to the island. Other governments have not issued similar warnings, but Singapore and a few other countries have urged citizens to defer nonessential travel to areas affected by the eruption, and to be prepared to evacuate Bali should conditions worsen. 

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