Volcano Ash Cancels Bali Night Flights

MELBOURNE

Qantas low-fare airline Jetstar has cancelled night flying into and out of Ngurah Rai International Airport because of the high-altitude ash plume from the Mt Merapi eruption in Central Java.

It has rescheduled all Bali flights to land and take off in daylight so pilots can visually check for ash in the atmosphere.

Jetstar is Australia’s most frequent carrier to Bali, with four flights out of Australia each day. Wednesday night’s Darwin-Bali flight was cancelled and a flight from Melbourne to Bali was rerouted to Darwin on Tuesday.

Tuesday night’s Bali-Darwin flight was delayed until daylight hours on Wednesday – 12 hours later than scheduled.

The airline’s Sydney-Bali services have been rescheduled to land in daylight.

Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said on Wednesday: “It allows our pilots to have full visual scope of coming into and out of Denpasar International Airport airspace and we’re doing that purely as a precautionary measure in line with high safety standards.”

The death toll, meanwhile, since Mt Merapi began erupting on October 26 rose to 191 on Wednesday, a disaster-management official said.

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