Mount Agung: Air of uncertainty hangs over travellers as Bali's airport reopens, some flights resume

A flight information board shows the list of delayed flights due to the volcano at the Ngurah Rai International airport in Denpasar, Bali on Nov 28, 2017.
A flight information board shows the list of delayed flights due to the volcano at the Ngurah Rai International airport in Denpasar, Bali on Nov 28, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Even as Bali's Denpasar airport reopened on Wednesday afternoon (Nov 29), some travellers have decided to cancel their holiday plans to the island where Mount Agung has been erupting.

Business development executive Kuan Rong Ming, 29, was initially scheduled to spend Dec 5 to 10 in Bali for his honeymoon. He will now be going to Hiroshima, Japan, with his wife-to-be instead.

Mr Kuan said: "We weren't sure when the airport would eventually reopen, and since this is our honeymoon and not just any regular holiday, we didn't want to take the risk of not being able to go anywhere."

The volcano has been spitting ash into the air and blocking flight paths. Some experts have warned that this could go on for weeks before a major eruption takes place.

Similarly, tax manager Lim Yong Yao, 37, who was supposed to travel to nearby Lombok for a holiday with his wife and 19-month-old child from Dec 8 to 16, decided not to take the risk.

Mr Lim said: "We planned a fishing trip there but the captain of the fishing boat told us not to go there because conditions are bad.

"We don't want to bring our young son to a place where volcanic ash is in the air. The Lombok airport has already been closed once and could potentially close again depending on the direction of the wind. We don't want to get stranded there."

Some Singaporeans are still stranded in Bali.

Ms Natalie Neo, 26, who works as an analyst at a bank, had been scheduled to return to Singapore on Monday via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines after a weekend in Bali with a friend. She said: "I'm now trying to contact KLM to see if we can be put on another flight soon."

According to Reuters, as many as 443 domestic and international flights were disrupted by the closure of the airport on Tuesday, and 10 alternative airports are ready to receive diverted inbound flights.

The volcano's last major eruption took place in 1963, when more than 1,000 people were killed.