Hundreds of passengers affected by the closure of Ngurah Rai International Airport have begun to depart to the nearest bus terminals. At the Domestic Terminal passengers were seen queuing for free buses provided by the airport authorities.
Sinta Dian (32 years) and her family were scheduled to fly with Citilink Indonesia from Denpasar to Bandung this morning. She heard the airport was closed from online media and immediately took care of the cancellation as well as refunding tickets at the airport. “For security reasons we decided to go by land,” she told Republika.co.id.
The same thing was also expressed by Gede Putra (35 years) who was originally planning to fly with Lion Air to Surabaya today. The Denpasar resident was notified that his flight was canceled due to the volcanic activity of Gunung Agung. “I was forced to use the bus through Ubung Terminal,” he said.
Foreign tourists have also been sited on buses and at Mengwi bus terminal.
“After the airport closed, many passengers were diverted here,” said Terminal Coordinator at Mengwi, Cok Agung Suarmaya to Bali Post.
He said, passengers are not only domestic, but also foreign tourists.
“Yes many foreigners are also being diverted here,” he said.
Communication & Legal Section Head of I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Arie Ahsanurrohim said the movement of passengers from the airport has begun to be realized. Many domestic passengers, such as those planning to fly to Surabaya and Lombok chose to travel by land and sea.
Directorate General of Land Transport at Ministry of Transportation previously informed that approx. 100 regular bus fleets and tour buses from Ngurah Rai Airport to Mengwi Terminal and Padangbai Port were prepared to transport passengers of airplanes that were unable to fly. Bali Provincial Government also alerted a number of bus companies to assist the mobilization of passengers from Ngurah Rai Airport.
Meanwhile, Ngurah Rai International Airport is recording as many as 455 flight cancellations at the airport during the 24 hour closure.
Arie Ahsanurrohim detailed international flights are 97 arrivals and 99 departures and domestic flights recorded 124 arrivals and 125 domestic departures.
And meanwhile, for tourists stuck without anywhere to stay, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has ordered hotels in Bali to give special discounts for tourists who cannot continue their journey off the island.
In response, Head of Bali Tourism Office, Anak Agung Gede Yuniartha explained that Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) has already responded and in fact, hotels are ready to give one night free.
“So PHRI’s associates have responded to this call already giving one night free to tourists who cannot continue their journey from Bali due to Mount Agung,” he told detikTravel, earlier (27/11/2017).
“The next day, they give discounts depending on each hotel,” he added.
Image: Mengwi Bus Terminal on a quieter day.