Hundreds of flights have been delayed or grounded and Denpasar International Airport was shut down due to Volcano eruption in Bali. Despite the fact that the airport has now been reopened, the ongoing cancellations affect approximately 27,000 travelers worldwide. Following the airport reopening, some disruptions continue such as cancelled flights of Virgin Australia, whilst other operator’s flights may be subject to change. According to Bali authorities, the volcano poses no threat to habitants of the island. However, a small four-kilometer exclusion zone around Mt Agung has been set and activities around the volcano have been stopped.
This is the second time in the past year that Mt Agung has erupted. In November 2017, the volcano stranded 59 000 travelers, causing approximately $5 million loss in revenue for the 42 airlines that fly there. Flight disruptions had a lasting impact for a few weeks. The main reason for flight cancellations is the fact that volcanic eruptions form ash clouds. They pose a threat to aircraft because the ash particles cool engines and form a glassy coating, which can cause engines to stall or fail completely.
One of the most notable natural disaster the aviation industry dealt with in the past years was Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland in 2010, that shut down most of airspace in Europe for a week. The industry then suffered a major $1.7 billion loss and almost every country with an international airport experienced some disruptions due to flights to or from Europe being canceled. Indonesia is the world’s most active volcanic region and lies on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.