Flights gradually resume in New Zealand

15:25, June 13, 2011      

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Domestic and international flights from New Zealand airports began to resume on Monday as the ash cloud from a Chilean volcano moved higher into the atmosphere over the South Pacific.

Thousands of airline passengers had been left stranded as flights within New Zealand and across the Tasman to Australia were cancelled because of the risks posed by the dust, which has been spewing from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano since June 4.

The inconsistency between airlines to the ash clouds has left many travelers frustrated and angry.

Air New Zealand Monday issued a statement saying it had operated 473 flights and carried more than 26,500 passengers around New Zealand and across the Tasman Sunday.

"By working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority, Metsevice (New Zealand's meteorological service) and others, the airline was able to safely make adjustments to flight paths and cruising altitudes so as to completely avoid the ash and keep providing a safe service to the traveling public," said the statement.

Jetstar, Qantas, Emirates and Virgin Sunday cancelled around 60 trans-Tasman and domestic flights as a safety precaution, leaving around 16,000 passengers stranded on both sides of the Tasman.

A statement from the Civil Aviation Authority on Saturday said the ash clouds could disrupt flights around New Zealand for at least a week.

Source: Xinhua
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