Bali, Lombok flights disrupted by Mount Rinjani volcano eruption

BADUNG, BALI (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A number of domestic and international flights to and from Bali were cancelled on Monday (Aug 1) following the eruption of the Mount Rinjani volcano in the neighbouring Indonesian island of Lombok.

Three domestic flights from Bali to Lombok have been cancelled, as the eruption forced the closure of Lombok International Airport on Monday afternoon, a spokesman at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali told The Jakarta Post.

"Three flights from Lombok to Bali were cancelled," the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, five flights from Australia to Bali were cancelled, three of which were Tigerair and two Virgin Airlines flights.

"The cancelled flights were from Australian cities Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide," he said.

From Ngurah Rai, two flights to Australia have also been cancelled.

The flights included one Tiger Air flight to Perth and one Virgin Airline flight to Brisbane, leaving at least 335 passenger stranded in Bali.

"The cancellations were decided for safety reasons," he said.

Last year, hundreds of flights were grounded after authorities closed the Bali airport as well as two smaller airports on Lombok island and East Java due to a large volcanic ash cloud that drifted from Mount Rinjani.

Mt Rinjani is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

The archipelago is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and South-east Asia.