Singapore

Scoot's Bali travellers on 18-hour reroute to Surabaya for flight home

Airlines, including Scoot, assist affected passengers as Bali's Mount Agung continues to erupt

With the Denpasar airport shut as Bali's Mount Agung continues to erupt and spew thick plumes of ash yesterday, some airlines have been scrambling to reroute passengers.

Scoot said it managed to arrange transportation for its passengers from Bali to Surabaya.

From there, they will be flown back to Singapore on Scoot planes. The journey, which includes a ferry crossing, is expected to take 18 hours.

Scoot has also stopped the sale of tickets for flights to and from Bali until Dec 4, it said.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is also assisting customers who have been affected by flight disruptions. It said it is accommodating some travellers in hotels, among other measures.

It is also offering customers the option of rerouting their original flights to Denpasar for Monday and yesterday to other South-east Asian destinations in the SIA and SilkAir network.

Singaporean Natalie Neo, 26, an analyst at a bank, was among tens of thousands of travellers who were stranded in Bali.

She was there with her friend Hazel Mei, 29, who works in finance, for a weekend getaway.

We have not heard any news of compensation or if accommodation will be covered by either airline if the disruption continues.Singaporean Natalie Neo, one of the tourists stranded in Bali

Initially scheduled to arrive in Singapore on Monday night, they had two flights cancelled on them.

Ms Neo said: "First, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines informed us it had cancelled our flight, as it said it was not safe to fly or land at night in Bali as long as the volcano was active."

The duo were then rebooked on an SIA flight scheduled to return to Singapore yesterday afternoon, but this, too, was cancelled.

Ms Neo said: "We have had to extend our stay in the hotel. We have not heard any news of compensation or if accommodation will be covered by either airline if the disruption continues."

Singapore permanent resident Simon Kyte, 45, a banking executive, was in Bali for a week-long holiday with his wife and two children.

He was scheduled to be on a KLM flight back to Singapore at 9.30pm on Sunday.

Mr Kyte, who is from Britain, said: "KLM has transferred us to the Hilton Garden Inn next to the airport and has been paying for our stay and food."

He said his employers have been considerate.

"The understanding is that I will be working remotely on my work phone until I can get home."

Singaporeans advised to stay away from Bali for now

Singaporeans are advised to defer trips to Bali until the situation improves.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), in a travel advisory yesterday, also urged them to wait until the airport is reopened before resuming travel there.

A volcano on Bali has erupted several times since Nov 21, and Ngurah Rai International Airport remained closed yesterday for the second day in a row.

The Indonesian authorities have raised the alert for Mount Agung to the highest level and expanded the exclusion zone to 10km around its crater.

Flights have been cancelled.

MFA said it will continue to provide consular help to Singaporeans stranded in Bali.

It advised those who have not e-registered with it to do so at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/

Singaporeans in Bali are advised to avoid Mount Agung and its vicinity.

They should also check with their airlines or travel agents for updates on flight disruptions.

MFA also advised them to take precautions for their safety, heed the instructions of the authorities in Bali and keep in close contact with family and friends.

Those who need consular help may contact the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta on +62 (21) 2995-0400 or +62 811-863-348 (24 hours).

They may also contact the ministry's Duty Office on 6379-8800 or 6379-8855, or e-mail mfa-duty-officer@mfa.gov.sg - LYDIA LAM

WORLD