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Java volcano disrupts air services

Airline passengers bound for Bali are facing travel disruption as Mount Bromo in Java continues to throw volcanic ash into the skies. Qantas' budget arm Jetstar has said it will be cancelling services to the region until it is safe to resume, as has Virgin Blue. Other airlines have also said they will not be flying into the area until experts say it is safe to do so. However, passengers flying with Garuda Airlines to Denpasar from Melbourne were not disappointed as the carrier's 11.00am scheduled flight left the runway. Air Asia has also said that it will be continuing to fly to the region. Both Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific are being more cautious and have cancelled flights until they are told it is safe to fly to destinations affected by the eruption. Virgin said that it had decided to postpone its services after taking advice from the Darwin-based Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre. Jetstar is due to fly to the area from Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin later in the evening, but said it was monitoring the situation and would decide whether or not to carry passengers depending on advice from aviation experts. Simon Westaway, a spokesman for the airline, said the number one concern had to be passenger safety. With this in mind the carrier will be closely monitoring the situation and will only fly customers when they are guaranteed there is no danger, he added. Last night, Virgin Blue customers flying out of Brisbane and Sydney spent the night in Darwin because of the eruption.
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