Published on : Wednesday, November 29, 2017
The closure of Denpasar airport in Bali Indonesia yesterday and today, due to the presence of volcanic ash in the surrounding airspace, has inevitably led to considerable disruption to airline operations and tens of thousands of passengers who were due to fly on services out of and into Bali.
Airlines have had to divert some enroute flights and cancel or reschedule many others as a result. Airlines are providing various forms of assistance to affected passengers including, for example, offering to waive rebooking charges if passengers wish to reschedule their flights to a later date, or offering credits which can be used to purchase flights to alternative destinations.
All affected airlines are closely monitoring developments, including updates provided by the Indonesian authorities, meteorological service providers and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre for the region which is based in Darwin, Australia.
The timing of the reopening of Denpasar airport will very much depend on changes to the prevailing weather conditions, including the North Easterly winds which have spread the volcanic ash clouds which emanated from Mount Agung to cover an extended area of Bali including the airport location. In addition, the relevant air navigation service provider will need to be satisfied that the related air navigation corridors can be made available for use by airline operators.
The final decision to operate rests with individual airlines, based on comprehensive risk assessment methodologies. Different airlines may reach different conclusions depending on specific operational factors, such as the duration of the proposed flight, the availability of suitable alternate airports in case of unplanned diversions, and company-specific factors including the availability of crew resources at various airports.
Airlines constantly evaluate a wide range of safety, operational, meteorological, security and other factors in planning aircraft operations and flights worldwide in accordance with each airline’s regulatory approved Safety Management System. This involves comprehensive risk assessments and contingency planning for all operations, with safety and security always the number one priority.
Passengers should update their personal contact information with the relevant airlines in order to stay fully informed on further developments regarding flight operations, and also pay close attention to further updates and advisories issued by the Indonesian authorities regarding the latest developments in the affected area surrounding Mount Agung.