Lombok airport closed

DENPARSAR, 1 December 20127: A change of wind has forced the closure of Lombok airport, late Thursday, although Bali’s airport remains open and is being served by both  scheduled and charter flights sent in to evacuate thousands of stranded travellers.

A leading tour operator, Asian Trails with offices in Bali reports the situation remains unchanged with “ongoing ash clouds filling the skies over the region.”

Despite the reopening of Bali International Airport, government officials say the situation could change at any moment in line with forecasted weather conditions.

Aviation authorities review the flight status at airports six hourly. On Thursday, 400 aircraft movements (landings and takeoffs) were logged at Bali’s international which was around the normal traffic level. On Wednesday there were just 60 after the airport opened at 1500.

Meanwhile, Thai Airways International reported it resumed normal flights between Bangkok and Denpasar, Bali, on Thursday.

TG431 Bangkok-Denpasar, departs from Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 0850 and arrives at Denpasar International Airport at 1415. (local time). The return flightTG432 departs Denpasar at 1610 and arrives at Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 1925.

On Thursday, the airline used a 348-seat Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route to bring back stranded passengers to Thailand.

Also on Thursday, Korean Air deployed a charter flight to Denpasar Bali to evacuate passengers stranded at the airport during the three-day closure. A 276 seat A330 aircraft was used for the special flight.

Other airlines including AirAsia an Lion Air flew extra services to fly out stranded passengers, estimated at around 90,000 earlier in the week.