Thousands of Australians stranded amid continued Indonesian volcanic eruptions

July 14, 2015 5:30 am 

SYDNEY, July 13 (Xinhua) — Thousands of Australian remain stranded in Bali on Monday, awaiting updates from Australian airlines about departures from Denpasar.

Qantas low cost subsidiary Jetstar and rival Virgin Australia have delayed or cancelled more flights to Australia's major holiday destination Bali, Indonesia on Monday following the latest advice on the volcanic ash cloud from Mount Ruang.

More than 10,000 Australian travelers are stranded or have their holiday plans ruined after disruptions from the ash cloud over Bali, local media reported on Monday.

July is Australia's largest period for international holidays, outside of Christmas, with families escaping the winter chill during the July school holidays.

One customer due to fly to Bali on Jetstar Sunday posted on social media he changed plans due to the continued cancellations.

"Flight to Bali delayed till later tonight so cancelled that and now flying to Honolulu and then onto Maui with my daughter whom I cannot include in this check in as she will de-friend me," the man posted on Sunday.

Australian travelers started returning to Australia on Sunday morning as flights resumed with news the cloud from Mount Ruang had drifted away. However, the cloud returned, forcing the Indonesian authorities to shut Denpasar airport again before reopening later that afternoon.

Observers say while there are small windows of improvement in the cloud, disruptions will most likely occur for up to two weeks at this stage.

Jetstar and Virgin Australia say they will schedule extra services to repatriate Australian travelers from Bali once conditions improve. Jetstar said they will look at chartering extra planes from parent company Qantas.

Mount Ruang erupted on July 2, emitting plumes of ash that can choke jet engines.

Denpasar airport was closed on Friday because of the ash, along with nearby regional terminals including Lombok. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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