Some 50 Belgians are directly affected by the volcanic eruption currently blocking airports on the islands of Indonesia. 10 people travelling with the tour operator Thomas Cook/Neckermann are still waiting to see when they will be able to leave Bali. 40 more are in transit at Bangkok airport at the start of their holiday, revealed the tour operator spokesperson, Koen van den Bosch, on Friday morning.
Club Med, which also organises trips in the area, had no figures to give the press as to how many travellers were affected. Depending on when airports open again, passengers who are stuck in Bangkok may be given accommodation there, explains Koen van den Bosch. People stuck in Bali are getting a longer holiday while they wait for a return to normality.
The Mount Raung eruption in the centre of Indonesia led to 5 airports being closed, including the one on the very popular island of Bali, and to the cancellation of 357 flights, leaving thousands (over 47,000) of holiday-makers stranded, according to a spokesperson from Angkasa Pura I, the state-run company responsible for running Indonesian airports.
These closures are happening at the height of the tourist season in Bali, the only mostly Hindu island in this mostly Muslim country, and a paradise destination attracting millions of foreign tourists every year.
Authorities announced that the international airport in Bali would be closed until 9:30pm local time.
There are no direct flights between Brussels and Bali.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)