Darwin flights resume as volcano ash clears

Ash cloud strands passengers in Darwin

Passengers booked on flights in and out of Darwin and Bali wait to find out when air travel will resume after ash clouds grounded services. Nine news.

Flights to and from Darwin are resuming after being grounded by an ash cloud from an Indonesian volcano.

Early on Sunday afternoon the plumes affecting Australian airspace were expected to be clear over the Darwin region, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre said on Sunday.

Qantas announced it had resumed its flights, while Virgin, Air Asia and Jetstar had also resumed operations, Darwin International Airport spokeswoman Virginia Sanders told AAP.

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 told AAP.

Darwin was completely 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 major plume affecting Australian aviation swept southeast over the west side of the Northern Territory and as far south as Alice Springs.

Grace Legge, aviation forecaster from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, expected the ash would entirely clear from the Darwin region by early afternoon Sunday.

"The volcano is still erupting but the ash is not heading towards the Darwin region any more," she said.

Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss said Airservices Australia's National Operations Centre is working with airlines to minimise disruption and keep travellers updated through the day.

Decisions on flights are made by individual airlines and operators by carefully assessing all available information, he said.