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Saturday, May 25, 2019, 17:48
Bali airspace 'safe for flight' after volcano eruption
By Xinhua
Saturday, May 25, 2019, 17:48 By Xinhua

In this July 6, 2018 photo, people take photos as Mount Agung volcano erupts at the Kubu subdistrict in Karangasem Regency on Indonesia's resort island of Bali. (SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP)

JAKARTA — Although airliners canceled flights with routes of Indonesia's Bali Island and Australia after the Mount Agung volcano eruption on the island on Friday evening, the airspace was actually safe for planes, the transport ministry said on Saturday. 

During the eruption, the volcano expelled a large quantity of volcanic ash to the air, yet the height could not be detected as it was covered by cloud

Mount Agung volcano erupted on Friday, belching out volcanic ash and smoke to the air and pouring down rains of volcanic ash in areas situated on the slope of the mountain, the national volcanology agency said. 

Still, the air transport authority did not issue a notice to airman (NOTAM) for flight above the island airspace, spokesman of the transport ministry Hengki Angkasawan said.

ALSO READ: Bali volcano hurls lava and ash, but island's airport normal

The statement came after airliners, including Virgin Air, Jetstar and Qantas put off 14 flights on route from Bali to Australia. 

"The applications are on the initiative of the airliners. There is no NOTAM issued as the airspace is safe for flight," Hengki told Xinhua by the phone. 

Besides, the spokesman said that the flight authority at the international airport I Gusti Ngurah Rai on the island has the ability to navigate planes passing through the pathway above the island. 

During the eruption, the volcano expelled a large quantity of volcanic ash to the air, yet the height could not be detected as it was covered by cloud, the volcanology agency said. 

READ MORE: Bali volcano erupts

Mount Agung's alert status is at the second highest level with an exclusion zone covering an area of four kilometers from the crater, according to the national volcanology agency. 

Over 700,000 foreign holiday makers visit Bali Island, the center of Indonesia's tourism industry, every month, data from the national statistics bureau showed.

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