Australian airlines cancel flights all weekend

More flights have been cancelled over ash concerns. Photo / Paul Estcourt
More flights have been cancelled over ash concerns. Photo / Paul Estcourt

It could be a long weekend for travellers wanting to get home as Qantas and its budget subsidiary Jetstar announce all flights in and out of New Zealand are cancelled all weekend because of ash from the Chilean volcano.

No international or domestic Qantas or Jetstar flights will operate from New Zealand airports today or tomorrow, although Air New Zealand said its standard schedule for all domestic and international flights would continue as usual.

Qantas said today the volcanic ash from the Mt Puyehue Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile was still causing flight disruptions and because safety was the airline's first priority, numerous flights had been cancelled or rerouted to avoid the ash cloud.

No domestic flights in Australia were affected but all flights to and from New Zealand had been cancelled and in Australia all flights to and from Johannesburg, South Africa, were operating through Perth, the airline said.

The airline said it regretted the inconvenience and would offer full refunds.

Jetstar said it would contact all passengers affected by cancelled flights.

Yesterday, Jetstar said the cost of keeping aircraft on the ground was at least $10 million but it said "safety always comes before schedule".

Jetstar was also offering refunds or rescheduled travel.

- NZPA

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