Chile's LAN airline resumes south-bound flights as volcanic ashes ease

13:17, June 18, 2011      

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The Chilean airline group LAN on Friday resumed normal flight schedules to the southern part of the South American country as the ash cloud from the eruption of the Puyehue Volcano eased, airline officials said.

"As the atmospheric conditions have improved,LAN reestablishes this afternoon its service to and from the cities of Puerto Montt, Balmaceda and Punta Arena," LAN said in a statement.

Normal flight operations for the south-bound flights resumed at 1300 local time (1800 GMT). But LAN said many international flights continued to be affected by the volcanic ashes in the airspace including flights to Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, as well as to the Argentine cities of Bariloche, Neuquen, Bahia Blanca, Rio Gallego and Comodoro Rivadera.

The eruption of the Puyehue Volcano, which is located some 950 kilometers south of the Chilean capital of Santiago, has led to chaos across airports in the southern part of South America as thousands of flights have been cancelled or delayed since the volcano erupted on June 4 for the first time since 1960.

Domestic flights as well as most international flights between Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil have been affected the most, while the continuing eruption of Puyehue has led to the evacuation of several thousands people who lived within the vicinity of the 2,240 meter high volcano.

Source: Xinhua
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