The Thai Embassy in Jakarta yesterday helped 46 Thai tourists travel from Bali to Surabaya as services were suspended at Ngurah Rai International Airport and flights cancelled due to the Mount Agung eruption in Bali.
The second batch of Thai tourists was expected to leave for Surabaya today, the embassy stated, adding they would travel by buses provided by the Thai Honorary Consul General office in Denpasar.
The embassy said on its Facebook page that people who wanted to travel to Surabaya should contact a help desk set up at Ngurah Rai airport between 10am and 3pm.
The desk is situated at the international terminal’s departure hall and the emergency telephone number is +62 812 3825542. The airport has extended the suspension of services to at least today.
Consul personnel at an airport in Surabaya would help coordinate Thai tourists’ travel as there are not any direct flights from there to Thailand.
The embassy also stated that it had opened online registration for Thai people living in Bali and Thai tourists in case of emergency.
At present, 265 Thais have registered with the embassy, 260 of whom are tourists.
Thai Airways International suspended flights to Denpasar from Monday until tomorrow after the Indonesian airport was forced to close as the volcano about 75 kilometres away started spewing smoke and ash.
Scores of Malaysians are also stranded in Bali, The Star reported, with some staying on in their hotels but many others have checked out and been forced to spend nights at the Ngurah Rai airport, along with hundreds of tourists from other countries.
“Our flights were cancelled. We decided to wait here at the airport,” said Jie Aman, a 35yearold project coordinator who was on a holiday with her sister.
She said they had been stranded at the crowded airport and there were not enough chairs to accommodate people.
“Malaysia Airlines [MAS] distributed food packets for their passengers.”
Jie bought her ticket from MAS while her sister bought a ticket from AirAsia.
“MAS is offering me a few options due to the cancellation, including deferment of travel until February 28, 2018, a change of destination to Jakarta, Surabaya or any Asean destination on MAS network or a full refund,” she said.
Her sister was later informed that her flight with AirAsia had been rescheduled to today. But she will have to stay in Bali at her own expense.
Yue Chee Hong, 29, who is currently in Bali, said he still did not know if his flight to Kuala Lumpur would be cancelled.
“All inbound and outbound flights Tuesday were cancelled,” he said.