Australian Flights to Bali Resumes on Monday

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 2, 2014 3:54 PM EST

Ash clouds that erupted from Indonesia's Sangeang Api volcano have dissipated to safe levels, enabling Australian airliners to resume flights to Bali on Monday.

"The volcano itself is actually still erupting but only at a lower level," a spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin was quoted by Perth Now.

"The winds are actually taking the ash over to the south and west of the volcano, and not near Australia anymore."

At least two Jetstar flights scheduled out of Perth and bound for Denpasar are expected to go ahead later on Monday. Virgin has likewise resumed service to Bali.

A total of 31 flights were cancelled over the weekend across Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar services.

Indonesia's Sangeang Api volcano erupted on Friday, sending ash clouds dangerous for flying airplanes.

"At this stage the volcano has been erupting to low levels - to about four kilometres above the surface - and that ash has been moving to the west and to the south west," Bri MacPherson from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) said. "The winds are relatively light, so it's just slowly moving in those directions."

Volcanic ash can cause engine failure or engine damage. Risk assessment criteria are left to the discretion of the airlines if they should fly or not.

"Based on the latest advice we have received and with the forecast expected to clear in affected areas near Darwin and Denpasar, we will resume operations into and out of Darwin later this afternoon. We will also resume operations into and out of Denpasar," Virgin Australia said in a statement.

Sangeang Api is located on the island of Sangeang in Indonesia. It consists of two volcanic cones, 1,949 metres (6,394 ft) Doro Api and 1,795 m (5,889 ft) Doro Mantoi. Sangeang Api is one of the most active volcanoes in the Lesser Sunda islands. Between its first recorded eruption in 1512 and 1989, it had erupted 17 times. Its last eruption was in May 2014.

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