SYDNEY — It’s groundhog day for Australian tourists as airlines cancel further flights to the Indonesian holiday island of Bali on Monday.
Corrosive, silica-based ash has been spewing from Mount Raung — 140 km northwest of Denpasar — since early July, causing travel chaos for Australian airlines, despite their Indonesian competitors continuing to fly Australian routes.
Australian airlines began the latest stretch of cancellations on Wednesday last week.
Australian authorities expect conditions to improve later on Monday Afternoon.
“We’ll start to see a wind change this morning but as the day progresses we will definitely see a bit more of a clearance,” Michael Haywood from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Darwin told Australia’s national broadcaster on Monday.
“So definitely by this afternoon we should see the winds definitely coming from the north pushing ash to the south, into the Indian Ocean.”
All but four of Virgin Australia’s Monday services have been canceled and those still scheduled to go ahead in the afternoon are under review.
Qantas’ low cost subsidiary Jetstar has scheduled seven flights to Denpasar Airport, and five flights from the Indonesian island to Australia on Monday. Five flights have been canceled.
Jetstar said they are reviewing options for additional flights to help remove the passenger backlog.
Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has not canceled any services.