December 14, 2017

Chile volcano ash cloud finally forces Air NZ to cancel some flights

At least we know if Air New Zealand has cancelled a flight because of volcanic ash, it must be a genuine danger.

The ash cloud from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano has finally forced Air New Zealand to cancel five flights involving Dunedin tonight.

The airline said the cancellations were because of increased volcanic ash activity in the south of the South Island. The cancelled flights are NZ693 Christchurch to Dunedin, NZ694 Dunedin to Christchurch, NZ679 Auckland to Dunedin, NZ459 Wellington to Dunedin and NZ678 Dunedin to Auckland.

The company said it would monitor the situation closely and update its position in the morning.

Air New Zealand has continued flying despite airlines like Qantas and Jetstar not flying. Jetstar in particualr have been a bunch of plonkers. I reached this conclusion from bitter personal experience while stranded in Christchurch in recent days.

The airline was flying well below the ash cloud which has a ceiling of 8229 metres, but it is burning 10 percent more fuel.

Air NZ said yesterday it had operated about 1000 flights and carried more than 50,000 passengers since the ash arrived in New Zealand airspace on Sunday.