Chilean Volcanic Ash Disrupts Flights in Australia, New Zealand

Posted June 13th, 2011 at 4:35 am (UTC-5)
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A cloud of volcanic ash from Chile has left thousands of air travelers stranded for a second day in Australia and New Zealand.

Dozens of flights between New Zealand and Australia have been canceled over the past few days, along with many domestic routes in both countries.

Australia's national airline, Qantas, said all flights in and out of the southern island of Tasmania and those to New Zealand were canceled Monday.

However, Air New Zealand and Virgin Air have decided to resume flights by flying under or around ash clouds.

Richard Arculus, a professor of geology at the Australian National University, believes the ash cloud will break up and will soon be blown back toward South America.

The Puyehue volcano in Chile has been erupting for the past week, throwing South American air travel into chaos.