Some flights resume as volcanic ash cloud lingers over New Zealand

14:41, June 17, 2011      

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New Zealand's national carrier Friday announced it had resumed flying to all destinations in the South Island after the ash cloud from Peru's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano forced it to cancel many flights Thursday.

However, uncertainty remained for many passengers still grounded Friday in New Zealand.

A statement from Air New Zealand said normal service had resumed to and from the ski resort of Queenstown from midday Friday following the latest meteorological forecasts, and it was operating to all of its domestic and international ports.

Meanwhile, Qantas subsidiary Jetstar has resumed some of its flights Friday, but services to and from Christchurch in the morning had been cancelled because of the ash cloud.

Jetstar flights between Auckland and Singapore had resumed.

Travelers faced chaos Thursday after the New Zealand Metservice (meteorological service) advised that low areas of ash down to just over 3,000 meters covered parts of the east coast of the South Island.

The volcano began a series of explosive eruptions on June 4 and activity has been decreasing, but with little sign of coming to an end.

Experts believe the ash plume could take up to six days to clear from New Zealand skies after it stops.

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