THOUSANDS of Australians have put their dreams of a Bali holiday on hold with flights from capital cities cancelled after Indonesiaâ€™s Mount Agung began spewing water vapour and ash into the atmosphere.
Denpasar Airport was closed as a result of the volcanic activity, however, it reopened about 4.30pm AEST.
Virgin Australia said the development would not change their earlier decision to cancel eight flights to and from Denpasar, affecting Brisbane and Sydney travellers.
The airline also announced two inbound services from Denpasar, to Brisbane and Sydney, that were delayed from Thursday had been dropped and Saturdayâ€™s services were under review.
Virgin will provide another update on Saturday morning.
Jetstar initially scrapped flights to the tourist hotspot from Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane on Friday morning, while its flights leaving Bali – bound for the three capital cities and Cairns – were also cancelled.
However, Jetstar and Qantas later announced flights would operate in the evening subject to changes in conditions.
â€śOur team of senior pilots and meteorologists will continue to monitor the situation and we thank our customers for their understanding,â€ť Qantas said in a statement.
All three carriers said passengers will receive an SMS or email if their Bali flight is affected however Australians are urged to check airline website for flight status updates.
AirAsia has issued a statement saying that most of its flights from and to Denpasar, Bali have been cancelled today. Several flights remain as scheduled until further notice.
â€śAirAsia will notify guests of their flight status via email and SMS. AirAsia strongly encourages all guests to update their contact details at airasia.com to ensure that they are notified of any updates to their flights,â€ť the statement read.
Indonesiaâ€™s disaster mitigation agency said more than 8300 passengers worldwide had been affected.
The regional volcanic ash advisory centre in Darwin said winds could carry the ash southwest toward Baliâ€™s international airport and Java – Indonesiaâ€™s most densely-populated island.
HOW DANGEROUS THE VOLCANO IS
Officials advise that people in south Bali – an area some 60-70 kilometres from the volcano –
are in no direct threat from the volcanoâ€™s eruption.
The â€śdanger zoneâ€ť is a small area with a radius of approximately four kilometers from Mount Agungâ€™s crater. All tourist activities and trekking activities near Mount Agung have been suspended until further notice.
Tourist visitors in Bali are reminded there is no reason to panic and are advised to stay in their hotels where the hotel management and the relevant government agencies will keep them fully informed on developments.
Those who were scheduled to check out from their hotel on Friday should contact the hotelâ€™s reception as most hotels are providing the best available commercial rate or one night complimentary for those needing to extend their stay.
Visitors with an urgent need to continue their journey might consider an overland journey by
bus and ferry from Bali to Surabaya (approximately 12 hours) â€“ the nearest international
airport. Hotels and tour operators can assist in making such arrangements.
Devy Kamil Syahbana, an official of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Agency, said that white smoke had been spewing from Mt Agungâ€™s crater since this morning and thin ash later in the day. There had been continuous tremors all afternoon.
Thick clouds of white steam was seen flowing from the volcano and as evening fell the emissions were glowing red.
Indications are that pressure is building inside the volcano.
Mt Agung has been rumbling since last year when it was feared, in September, that a full eruption was imminent and local residents were evacuated from the slopes and housed in evacuation centres. On numerous occasions the airport was closed.