Volcanic ash disrupts flights in Australia | world | Hindustan Times
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Volcanic ash disrupts flights in Australia

Thousands of passengers were left stranded after ash from Chile's Puyehue volcano drifted across southern parts of Australia disrupting flights.

world Updated: Jun 15, 2011 00:59 IST

Thousands of passengers were left stranded after ash from Chile's Puyehue volcano drifted across southern parts of Australia disrupting flights. Strong winds have drifted the ashes from the volcano more than half way around the world, across the Pacific into Australian and New Zealand airspace.

Puyehue volcano erupted more than a week ago. National airlines Qantas cancelled all services to and from Tasmania and New Zealand for the rest of the day on Tuesday morning, while its Adelaide services remain grounded because of the ash cloud. However international carriers are operating.

Virgin Australia resume services in and out of Melbourne, Tasmania and New Zealand and said it planned to operate normal scheduled services again.

About 20,000 Qantas passengers have had their flights disrupted, with 15,000 yet to reach their destination. More than 50,000 people in total were caught up in the travel chaos.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority said it had no issue with airlines continuing operations provided they avoid the areas of forecast volcanic ash and any actual areas of ash.