Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano has been erupting recently, sending an ash cloud over Australia – very similar to the one experienced in Europe in 2010. Experts concluded that the ash cloud was too low to avoid. This forced Australian airline Qantas to suspend all flights into and out of the Western Australian city of Perth, leaving passengers stranded at Perth Airport.
However, after monitoring the situation, Qantas has now resumed all domestic Australian flights from the airport, but flights to and from New Zealand will remain grounded until at least 12pm on Thursday (local time).
Passengers experiencing cancelled and delayed flights to and from Perth have been left confused after conflicting decisions from Qantas and other Australian airlines, whilst Air New Zealand managed to operate using methods approved by the relevant safety authorities.
Air Qantas explained that they were actioning a ‘safety before schedule’ policy, and that cancellation of flights was in the interests of passenger safety. This proved little consolation to stranded passengers who were further incensed when they discovered that Air New Zealand were still allowing flights.