SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) is resuming flights to and from Bali now that the airport at Denpasar has reopened while Jetstar plans to operate some relief flights out of Bali to get as many people back to Singapore and Australia as possible.
SIA’s flight SQ948 is scheduled to take off from Changi Airport at 6.05pm on Wednesday (Nov 29). The first SIA flight out of Bali - SQ947- will depart at 8.05pm, with another flight - SQ 949 - flying out at 9.45pm.
The following flights from Bali will be retimed: SQ939 to depart at 10.45pm; SQ943 to depart at 11.45pm.
Passengers should arrive at the airport three hours before the scheduled departure time.
“We apologise in advance for long queues at the airport due to the large number of customers expected,” SIA said in a statement on its website on Wednesday afternoon.
For Jetstar Asia, it will resume its daily scheduled service to Bali on Thursday and Friday, with an additional relief flight on both days to bring passengers back from Bali. Customers booked on these flights are being contacted directly, the airline said in a statement.
Similarly, Jetstar Airways and Qantas have 10 scheduled flights and will put on another six relief flights on Thursday for customers flying to Australia.
Some passengers like Mr Maxime Etti have expressed relief.
“I should have been in Bali three days ago. I have two children there with their nanny and I am very afraid,” said Mr Etti, 54, a real estate agent from Italy who lives in Bali.
“I have images of Pompeii in my mind because they have told me the ash is everywhere. My flight was cancelled until one hour ago so I have to rush to the airport.”
The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was buried under metres of ash and pumice after Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79.
A couple from New York, Mr Sharad Varma, 52, and his wife Alpa, 48, both accountants, wanted to go to Bali but changed their plans because of the airport closure.
“We didn’t know (about the airport reopening) until you just told us,” said Mrs Varma. “We were supposed to go to Bali from Singapore today, but we were told the airport is closed. No one gave us any information on the airport opening so we thought best to be safe and we booked Bangkok,” she added.
Despite the reopening of the Denpasar airport, both airlines said passengers should defer non-essential travel to Bali or consider other travel options.
SIA reiterated its offer for passengers to reroute their original flights to Bali which fall between Nov 27 and Dec 1, to other South-east Asian destinations within the SIA and SilkAir network within the same cabin class, subject to seat availability.
Customers may rebook or request a refund for tickets.
“Due to high call volumes experienced by our call centre currently, customers who wish to get a refund for their tickets to Denpasar (Bali) are requested to call in at a later stage to make the request, and Singapore Airlines will honour the request,” it added.
Jetstar customers in Singapore whose plans have been disrupted or are planning to travel to Bali over the next week are asked to consider other options, including a voucher or flying to another international destination in the region such as Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket, Yangon, Phnom Penh, Danang or Hat Yai.
Additional reporting by Shelina Assomull