January 27, 2011
Several airlines cancelled flights to Indonesia's top tourist destination island of Bali on Thursday because of volcano ash, an Indonesian government spokesman said.
Mount Bromo in eastern Java, one of dozens of active volcanoes in the archipelago, started erupting in November. Ash from Mount Merapi, also in Java, disrupted flights in November.
"Several airlines decided to divert their flights or return to base in connection with ash spewing from Mount Bromo," said Bambang Ervan, spokesman for the Indonesian transport ministry.
Ervan said Air France-KLM, Cathay Pacific, Jetstar, ValueAir, and Virgin Blue had cancelled or diverted flights, with the ash cloud at 18,000 feet and the wind direction southeast.
Yuli Sadoso, an official at Bali airport, said about 1,300 passengers had been hit by the cancellations.
A British Airways flight came close to crashing nearly three decades ago after its engines sucked in ash from another Indonesian volcano, Mount Galunggung, on Java.