Flights resume after Sangeang Api volcano erupts

By AAP with AG staff 2 June 2014
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Flights from northern Australia have resumed after the eruption of the Sangeang Api volcano in Indonesia.

FLIGHTS TO AND from Darwin have resumed after they were grounded by an ash cloud from an Indonesian volcano. Some flight,s to Bali are still grounded.

Darwin was cut off to all air services on Saturday as ash plumes billowed from the Sangeang Api volcano off the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. It erupted continuously after an initial blast on Friday afternoon.

The island-volcano is 13km wide andwas last active around 1999. The major plume affecting Australian aviation swept southeast over the west side of the Northern Territory and as far south as Alice Springs.

Sangeang Api volcano ash cloud dissipates

Australia is now clear but airlines were meeting to discuss an ash cloud near Bali, said Cyndee Seals of the the Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin.

“I can advise that the ash cloud across Australia is dissipating but there are still ash clouds southwest of the volcano and another to the east east-northeast from an earlier high eruption,” she said.

The southwesterly ash cloud was nearing Bali but its effects on flights to Denpasar were not yet clear, Cyndee said.

“Right now, unless the winds change – and they are a little variable – it will take the ash south of Denpasar, away from Bali,” she said. “The airlines are meeting about it.”

NASA satellite image of the ash plume and continuing ash emissions this morning (annotation: Culture Volcan).  

Indonesian volcano eruption ground flights

On Sunday night Jetstar cancelled 12 flights in and out of Bali as the Sangeang Api cloud drifted towards Denpasar International Airport.

Qantas announced it had resumed its flights, while Virgin, Air Asia and Jetstar also resumed operations in and out of Darwin, Darwin International Airport spokeswoman Virginia Sanders said.

But she urged travellers to stay in touch with their airline for updates on flights as some changes might be made.

“Flights are coming back on line but there are some scheduled changes so people still need to check with the airline with regards to what’s happening with their particular flight,” she said.

In the local photo of the Sangeang Api volcano, part of the main ash column collapses at the bottom right, forming a pyroclastic flow.