Ash cloud hits Australia flights again

2011-06-20 11:07

kalahari.com

Sydney - An ash cloud created by a volcanic eruption in Chile more than two weeks ago has prompted at least one Australian airline to suspend flights again after the plume looped the globe and returned Down Under.

The Puyehue volcano's activity has been steadily decreasing, allowing people to return to their homes in the Andes mountains, but the huge ash cloud it ejected is still floating over the southern hemisphere.

Virgin has suspended all flights in and out of the South Australian capital Adelaide on Tuesday, as well as the regional town of Mildura, due to the ash, and said it was watching the situation in Melbourne and Tasmania.

National carrier Qantas has not yet announced any cancellations, but the airline said passengers could face delays in Adelaide early on Tuesday.

"It will obviously cause disruption, it will obviously prevent aircraft flying at the altitude of the cloud," Andrew Tupper, head of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, said of the plume.

"How they (airlines) choose to cope with that is their decision."

Another shot

Tupper said the cloud was about 2 000km south of Western Australia, but was expected to cross the southeastern coast and affect Adelaide early on Tuesday. It is also likely to affect Melbourne, he said.

He said while the ash had thinned during its travels around the globe it was still clearly visible on satellite images and was travelling at an altitude of 8-13km, generally cruising level for aircraft.

"Although much of the ash that came around us last week has dissipated the leading edge of it... is coming around for another shot," he said.

He added that it was too soon to know whether it would affect the country's busiest airport Sydney, but admitted the cloud would be an "uncomfortably close" distance of about 100km from the hub.

The cloud entered Australian and New Zealand airspace just over a week ago, causing some airlines to ground all flights to affected areas while others chose to divert their planes under and around the plume.

The ash disrupted the travel plans of tens of thousands of people in Australia and New Zealand, cancelling some travel across the Tasman Sea and affecting flights to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.

Weighing risks

Tupper could not say how long the new ash front would last, but said it would probably linger over any one place for only a day.

Ash poses a significant threat to aircraft because once sucked into engines it can be converted into molten glass as a result of the high temperatures and potentially cause an engine to fail.

Virgin Australia said flights to and from Adelaide and Mildura would continue until the last services on Monday, but forecasts that the ash plume would be below 6 000m over those airports on Tuesday had forced the cancellations.

"Our main focus for the near future is looking at Melbourne and Tasmania," a spokesman for the airline said, adding that the chance of the ash affecting Sydney were a lot lower than airports further south.

- SAPA

Read more on:    australia  |  ait travel  |  volcanoes
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.