(Yicai Global) Dec. 4 -- International airlines had helped bring more than 13,500 stranded Chinese tourists home from Bali as of 6 pm on Dec. 2, state-owned China News Service quoted the Chinese Consulate-General in Denpasar as saying about the aftermath of Mount Agung's volcanic activity.
Three Chinese carriers -- China Eastern Airlines Corp. [SHA:600115; HK:670; NYSE:CEA], China Southern Airlines Co. [SHA:600029; HK:1055; NYSE:ZNH] and Xiamen Airlines Co. -- have dispatched 16 flights and picked up 3,447 stuck travelers.
Other airlines had sent 54 regularly scheduled, added and chartered flights, assisting 10,067 stranded tourists get home. They had planned to collect another 500 with a charter plane yesterday, bringing the number of rescued Chinese tourists to over 14,000.
Mount Agung (3,142 meters above sea level) has continued to erupt amid tremors and small-scale magmatic exhalations, the person responsible for volcano monitoring at the Indonesia Volcanic and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency said yesterday, adding that magma had filled up nearly half of the volcanic crater, which has a diameter of 900 meters and is 200 meters deep.
Magma will likely fill the crater within 10 days. The volcano has been spewing gray and white volcanic ash and smoke 500 meters to 1,000 meters high, spreading ash to the south.
More than 10,000 Chinese tourists' return trips to China were delayed when volcanic ash forced Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport to close from 7 am Nov. 27 to 2:28 pm Nov. 29. The airport is open and routes between China and Bali are operating normally. A few other routes are still affected.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Civil Aviation Administration and National Tourism Administration have worked with airlines to retrieve Chinese since the airport reopened.