Volcanic ash cloud grounds Bali flights

Up in smoke: A screen grab of the ash cloud following the Sangeang Api volcano eruption.
Up in smoke: A screen grab of the ash cloud following the Sangeang Api volcano eruption. Photo: Muh Ihsanul Yakin

Flights from Australia to Bali have been cancelled as a massive volcanic ash cloud from Indonesia sweeps across Australia threatening to disrupt air travel for days.

Virgin Australia spokeswoman Jacqui Abbott said the eruption of the Sangeang Api volcano on Friday night caused the cancellation of all Darwin flightsand flights to Denpasar out of Melbourne on Saturday. ''Our team of meteorologists are continuing to monitor the situation, in consultation with the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre,'' she said.

The ash plume shut down Darwin International Airport on Saturday, before moving into West Australia and grounding planes at East Kimberley Regional Airport.

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss warned more airports around Australia could be affected.

''Depending on wind and other weather conditions, the ash has the potential to affect flights to and from other airports, including Brisbane, during coming days,'' he said.

Virgin flights VA51 from Melbourne to Denpasar and VA33 from Adelaide to Denpasar have been cancelled.

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