Stranded Bali tourists to head home after flights axed
ATTENTION - UPDATES with departure details ///
Denpasar, Indonesia, Jan 12, 2017 (AFP) - Hundreds of tourists stranded on
the resort island of Bali following the suspension of Tigerair Australia
flights this week were given the green light to fly out Thursday after
Indonesian officials grounded the carrier for violating regulations.
Officials granted Tigerair Australia permission to depart from Bali to
Australia, the company said in a statement, adding that the airline would only
be able to do so until January 16.
Hundreds of Tigerair Australia passengers have been forced to remain on
Bali following a decision by authorities Wednesday to ground flights with the
carrier after the airline allegedly broke Indonesian regulations.
The budget carrier said six of its services between Australia and the
Indonesian island were axed on Thursday and Friday a day after the disruption
began with the cancellation of several flights.
About 700 passengers were affected by the cancellations Thursday, and a
similar number were affected Wednesday, the Australian Broadcasting
Tigerair said the chaos was caused by the Indonesian government's decision
to "impose new administrative requirements for the operation of its flights
between Bali and Australia".
However the Indonesian transport ministry said it made the move after
administrative violations by the airline.
It said Tigerair should not have been selling tickets within Indonesia for
its chartered flights. Only Virgin Australia, Tigerair Australia's parent
company, was authorised to sell the tickets, it said.
"All foreign airlines must comply with our regulations," ministry spokesman
Agoes Soebagio said in a statement, adding all Tigerair Australia flights
would be cancelled until requirements had been fulfilled.
Tigerair said Virgin Australia was sending two flights to Bali to bring
affected customers back.
Bali, a pocket of ancient Hindu culture in Muslim-majority Indonesia,
attracts millions of foreign tourists every year to its palm-fringed beaches
and is a particular favourite with visitors from neighbouring Australia.
However travel disruptions are common. Bali airport was forced to close
several times last year due to floating clouds of ash from nearby erupting
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