Ash continues to wreak airline havoc
Wed, 15 Jun 2011 12:41p.m.
The airline chaos caused by Chile’s Puyehue volcano is set to continue as ash clouds approach Perth.
Virgin Australia has suspended all flights to and from Perth while Qantas has also cancelled flights from lunchtime, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Virgin spokesperson Sean Donohue said the decision to suspend services was necessary as the ash plume, the second wave to hit Australia, is travelling at a lower band of 12,000 feet (3,600m).
Qantas, Jetstar and Tiger Airways are still avoiding flights to Tasmania and New Zealand, but have resumed services to Adelaide.
Jetstar spokesperson Simon Westaway said about 46,000 customers have been affected by their flight cancellations.
Air New Zealand is continuing to operate with planes flying at a lower altitude.
Airlines in South America have also been affected with flights cancelled in Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Chile grounding hundreds of passengers.
The ash is threatening the start of the continent’s football championship with Argentine Football Association President Julio Grondona saying next month's Copa America could be altered if the ash clouds persist.
Since the eruption on June 4, around 4,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Chile.
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