Ash Cloud Grounds Flights To New Zealand

22 trans Tasman flights have been grounded after volcanic ash from Chile’s Puyehue volcano reached New Zealand.

The ash falls come months before the start of the rugby world cup, which will be hosted in New Zealand this September.

The Australian reported on the cancellations, saying

QANTAS has cancelled 22 flights to and from New Zealand and Tasmania due to a cloud of volcanic ash from South America.

A Qantas spokeswoman said all 14 flights in and out of Tasmania today had been cancelled.

Eight flights between Australia and Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown had also been grounded, she said.

The cancellations affect about 1500 passengers and Qantas is attempting to contact everyone ahead of their scheduled flight…

…Last night, strong winds carried the main part of the cloud towards New Zealand, Andrew Tupper, head of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin, said.The Qantas spokeswoman said staff were monitoring the situation and it was not yet known if the cloud would force further cancellations tomorrow.

We advise any of our readers travelling to New Zealand to make sure their insurance policies cover them for flight cancellations caused by volcanic activity.

You may also be interested in our other blogs:

“Mass Aircraft Grounding Possible In NZ Too” Scientists Say 24 April 2010

North Island Eruption Threat “Real” Warns Expert 7 November 2010

Mount Ruapehu Heating Up, Aviation Code Raised To Yellow, Ash Eruption Danger 5 April 2011