SAM RATULANGI Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi reopened this morning after being closed yesterday due to the volcanic eruption at Mount Soputan.
Garuda Indonesia vice president corporate communications, Pujobroto, said in a media statement: “With the airport reopening at 07.00 local time, Garuda flights between Jakarta and Manado have returned to normal."
“GA600 Jakarta-Manado-Ternate return, which was stranded in Manado yesterday, departed for Ternate this morning. In the meantime, Jakarta-Manado-Jakarta flight GA606 which could not fly yesterday evening, managed to fly this morning.”
Mapanget Megah Wisata Tours and Travel managing director, Reenaldo Wangkar, said: “The airport has reopened and all is running as per normal today.”
The ash cloud from the volcano, however, has blown westwards towards Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. While the Sepinggan International Airport in Balikpapan remains open, the ash cloud has forced some airlines to take a different route to reach the destination.
Garuda's flights between Jakarta and Balikpapan, which are usually via Banjarmasin, have been rerouted via Makassar today to avoid the ash cloud. “There is no cancellation, but the flights will be delayed,” said Pujobroto.
Mount Soputan, which is located some 25km from Manado, started erupting on Sunday morning, forcing the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation to issue a Notice to Airman closing the Sam Ratulangi Airport. The closure caused five out of 12 flights to Manado on Sunday to be cancelled, while some outbound flights were also stranded.