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Virgin cancels all Monday Bali flights

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UPDATED: Australians stranded in Bali face more delays after Virgin Australia said it wasn’t safe to resume flights due to the threat posed by a volcanic ash cloud.

The airline has announced all Monday flights to and from the Indonesian resort island have been cancelled.

It will provide another update later on Monday about the prospect of resuming flights on Tuesday.

The other major Australian carrier servicing Bali, Jetstar, said flights due to leave Australia before 5.15pm (AEST) will go ahead.

But Jetstar warned conditions could change and it will make another assessment later in the afternoon to decide if flights can operate after that time.

“If flights proceed tonight we will operate five services from Bali to Australia overnight to ensure we get our customers travelling again as soon as it safe to do so,” Jetstar said.

“We’ve prioritised access to seats on today’s additional service for customers who needed to get home urgently due to medical, hardship and other extenuating circumstances, so the extra flight from Bali to Perth has been filled by these passengers.”

It said more additional services were planned for Tuesday and Wednesday if flying conditions were clear.

Earlier on Monday, Virgin Australia ruled out the resumption of flights on Monday, despite Denpasar airport reopening for a second time on Sunday evening.

Mt Raung erupted on July 2, emitting plumes of ash that can choke jet engines.

Denpasar airport was initially closed on Friday because of the ash cloud, along with nearby regional terminals including Lombok, grounding passenger planes.

It reopened on Saturday allowing some Australia-bound flights to get out, but the ash cloud returned again on Sunday, forcing the airport to shut down again, before it resumed operations again late on Sunday.

Virgin said it had to put the safety of its passengers first, despite anger among some stranded Australians that flights hadn’t resumed after the reopening of Denpasar airport on Sunday evening.

“We have been advised that Mt Raung continues to erupt and winds continue to blow in an unfavourable direction, and are forecast to continue to do so for the rest of the day,” it said.

 

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