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Thursday 23rd of May 2013
Volcanic ash cloud returns to cause travel chaos
Airline passengers in Australia have been advised to contact the airport before leaving home as the volcanic ash cloud from Chile returns. A spokeswoman from Airservices Australia said there could be problems with services in Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne as well as cancellations to and from Tasmania. The agency said it was continuing to receive advice from experts at the Bureau of Meteorology and that the latest disruption could last for the next two days.
Virgin has announced that it will be cancelling all services out of Sydney and Melbourne because of fears for passenger safety. Tiger Airways has also made the decision to ground services for the rest of the day.
According to Danielle Keighery, a spokeswoman for Virgin, the decision to cancel services was made after it was decided that the ash cloud was too dense and too low for aircraft to risk taking off. Virgin said it would continue to be advised and would announce whether flights are also to be cancelled tomorrow.
Qantas has said that services from Sydney will be grounded and that it was currently making a decision about Melbourne. Olivia Wirth, a spokeswoman for the flag carrier, said it was still trying to gather data about the density of the cloud, but that the airline would always make the safety of customers the number one priority.
According to Airservices Australia, the cloud which has returned from Chile is denser and larger than last week’s ash plume and could remain in the atmosphere for longer.
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