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Jetstar likely to resume Christchurch flights this evening

UPDATE FRIDAY 2pm: Jetstar flights to and from Christchurch are likely to resume after 6pm tonight.

On its website Jetstar said, "Christchurch Trans-Tasman and Domestic services remain cancelled until 1800 local time, however we anticipate resuming all services to and from Christchurch this evening."

Air New Zealand is operating to all of its domestic and international ports.

UPDATE FRIDAY 1.20pm: Normal service has resumed for Air New Zealand after flights to and from Queenstown began again.

The airline announced this morning that following the latest Metservice forecast, it would run services into and out of Queenstown from midday today. 

Air New Zealand is now operating to all of its domestic and international ports.

UPDATE FRIDAY 9.30am: Jetstar has resumed some of its flights but services to and from Christchurch have been cancelled as the ash cloud continues to disrupt travel plans.

The airline announced last night:

"We are pleased to recommence our Auckland - Queenstown trans Tasman scheduled services tomorrow (Friday 17 June).

"Christchurch trans Tasman services have been cancelled for tomorrow morning (Friday 17 June).

We continue to closely monitor the situation and will provide a further update with regards to our afternoon trans Tasman Christchurch services tomorrow "morning (Friday 17 June)."

Jetstar flights between Auckland and Singapore have resumed.

Air New Zealand has not issued an update since yesterday afternoon when it advised services would resume in most South Island cities expect Queenstown.

UPDATE THURSDAY 1.00pm: Air New Zealand will resume operations in the lower South Island this afternoon following a new forecast from the New Zealand Metservice.

The forecast enables Air New Zealand to safely resume operations below the ash level to and from Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill, however, Queenstown remains affected.

General manager airline operations and safety and chief pilot Captain David Morgan said Air New Zealand was continuing to work closely with both the Civil Aviation Authority and the Airways Corporation to identify safe flight paths which avoid areas of ash.

The airline warned there would be some delays on the network as it restarted operations in these areas.

UPDATE THURSDAY 7.50am:  Air New Zealand has cancelled all flights in and out of Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill this morning as the Chilean ash cloud moves lower.

Flights in and out of Queenstown - bar service to Christchurch - are still running on schedule.

Air New Zealand flights from Christchurch to Melbourne and Brisbane are also cancelled.

"Ash at these new low levels [10,000 feet] gives us no choice but to cancel some services this morning,” said general manager airline operations and safety and chief pilot Captain David Morgan.

The airline will further update at midday. 

Last night, the airline - and its subsidiaries Nelson Air and Cook Airline cancelled 11 flights in and out of Christchurch and points south (see 6.30am update below).

Air New Zealand shares (NZX: AIR) fell 0.92% to $1.08 in early trading. Chief executive Rob Fyfe recently warned that the airline would not make money in the six months to June 30.

Qantas, JetStar, Pacific Blue cancellations
All Qantas and Jetstar NZ domestic and transtasman flights remain grounded, although the airlines are scheduled to resume full mainland Australia service today, including Perth and Tasmania routes previously cancelled due to the ash cloud.

Pacific Blue airline suspended services into and out of Auckland and Hamilton, in addition to the six flights cancelled from Australia to Christchurch and Wellington.

Eruption latest
Puyehue-Cordon Caulle continues to erupt, but with less intensity than its intial June 4 blast (see BBC footage posted yesterday here). Once the eruption stops, it will take at least six days for the ash cloud to disperse, meterologists say.


UPDATE THURSDAY 6.30am:  For the first time since the Chilean ash cloud arrived in local airspace Monday, Air New Zealand has been forced to ground some of its aircraft.

Today, some early morning flights in and out of Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill are cancelled, but most flying after 7am are listed as on schedule, including transtasman flights out of Christchurch.

Previously, Air New Zealand has adjusted routes and flown planes at a lower altitude to avoid the ash cloud. But as the cloud has moved lower over the South Island, that is not possible in all cases.

Last night, the airline - and its subsidiaries Air Nelson and Mt Cook Airline - cancelled flights in and out of Christchurch and all points south. The cancellation list paints a picture of the ash cloud's reach:

Air New Zealand
NZ693 Christchurch to Dunedin
NZ694 Dunedin to Christchurch
NZ679 Auckland to Dunedin
NZ459 Wellington to Dunedin
NZ678 Dunedin to Auckland

Air Nelson
NZ5320 Dunedin to Wellington
NZ5015 Wellington to Dunedin (Christchurch to Dunedin leg cancelled)
NZ5361 Wellington to Christchurch

Mt Cook Airline
NZ8075 Wellington to Invercargill
NZ8077 Christchurch to Invercargill
NZ8069 Christchurch to Invercargill

Qantas and its subsidiary Jetstar are scheduled to resume all Australian flights today, including in and out of Perth and Tasmania, the cities most affected by the cloud.

All Jetstar transtasman and NZ domestic flights remained grounded until at least midday today.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 3.30pm: Qantas and its subsidiary Jetstar, the only airlines operating in New Zealand that are still grounded by the ash cloud, resumed most services in mainland Australia today.

However, the sister airlines' NZ domestic and transtasman flights remain grounded.

In an update this afternoon, JetStar and Qantas said all NZ domestic and transtasman flights were cancelled for the remainder of today.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 6am: Qantas and Jetstar, the only airlines still grounded by the ash cloud, yesterday announced they would resume full Australian domestic service today.

However, the sister airlines' NZ domestic and transtasman flights remain grounded. All Wednesday morning flights are cancelled. An update is expected at midday.

UPDATE TUESDAY 4pm:  Qantas and its subsidiary Jetstar have cancelled all NZ domestic and transtasman flights for the remainder of the day.  It has also cancelled its flights to and from Adelaide and Tasmania.

However Air New Zealand has announced its domestic and transtasman routes are continuing to fly to schedule.  The airline said it was working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and MetService to establish safe flight paths.

Other airlines also continue to operate international services to and from New Zealand, including Viring Blue, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Air Asia X, Air Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Cahthay Pacific and Korean Air.

Air New Zealand general manager airline operations and safety Captain David Morgan said flying below the ash used 10% more fuel than normal.

Communications manager for the Civil Aviations Authority Bill Summers said the ash was heading East, and was at an altitude of approximately 27000 to 38000 feet.  He said the ash cloud took six days to arrive in New Zealand, and could not tell how long the ash cloud would take to disperse.

UPDATE TUESDAY 6am: Jetstar and Qantas flights remain suspended until at least midday as the airlines remain concerned about the ash cloud caused by the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle erruption in Chile.

Air New Zealand flights are operating as normal and it's understood all other international airlines remain operational.

Qantas and JetStar will review domestic and transtasman flights at midday. 

UPDATE Monday 1.20pm: Air New Zealand has just released a statement saying all of its domestic and transmasman flights are still flying to schedule.

At 1pm, Jetstar said it had cancelled all New Zealand domestic flights for the rest of the day, despite Civil Aviation giving the official all-clear. Jetstar transtasman flights are also cancelled.

Air New Zealand General Manager Airline Operations and Safety and Chief Pilot, Captain David Morgan said, “In order to avoid the ash, domestic services have been operating up to a maximum 5500 metres, while trans-Tasman flights departing Christchurch and Wellington were given new flight paths heading much further north than normal before crossing the Tasman.

“The extra distance involved required the use of 10% more fuel, but has meant customers were able to safely get to where they needed to go.”

Captain Morgan says the Metservice has advised that the ash cloud is now much higher and the CAA is comfortable for domestic and trans-Tasman services to continue to operate.

“We will not fly through ash and are constantly taking guidance from CAA and the Metservice to ensure we can continue to carry passengers only where safe routes and altitudes are available.” 

Qantas today lifted its restriction on flights from New Zealand.

Monday 6am: Flights over New Zealand could be disrupted for the next few days as ash from the Chilean volcanic eruption drifts up the country, a Civil Aviation meteorologist has said.

In other developments this morning, Air New Zealand general manager of airline operations and safety and chief pilot David Morgan told Radio New Zealand it was possible his airline would start cancelling flights later today, or tomorrow, if planes could not avoid the Chilean ash cloud.

Transtasman flights could be cancelled if planes could not reach 20,000 feet before entering controlled airspace, Mr Morgan said.

Air New Zealand would not be putting on extra flights in the wake of other airlines grounding flights.

The general manager said that even if the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle erruption stopped tomorrow, it would take around six days for the ash cloud to disperse.

Yesterday, other airlines cancelled around 60 domestic and transtasman flights.

The Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile began erupting on June 4, with the initial ash plume reaching above 15,240m. It has drifted thousands of kilometres across the South Atlantic, South Africa, Indian Ocean, Tasmania and across New Zealand. The eruption has eased, but is still producing ash.

Jetstar, Qantas, Emirates, Virgin cancel
Jetstar,Qantas, Emirates and Virgin have cancelled around 60 transtasman and domestic flights as a safety measure, leaving around 16,000 passengers stranded on both sides of the Tasman.

A Qantas spokeswoman said Sunday that all the airline's flights in and out of Melbourne and Auckland would be grounded from 8pm.

All flights to and from Tasmania and Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington had already been cancelled.

"Qantas will continue to monitor the movement of the ash cloud and its impact on further operations," she said.

Air New Zealand still flying
However, Air New Zealand is still flying.

Spokeswoman Tracy Mills said tonight the national carrier did not expect any cancellations to its domestic or international service as a result of the ash that began to drift up the country last night.

However, the company would adjust flight routes and altitudes to ensure aircraft remained clear of any ash, she said.

Ash cloud spreading north
Civil Aviation meteorologist Peter Lechner told NZPA the cloud could be over most of the North Island by Monday morning, which would affect airline operations.

To people on the ground the ash particles, which were finer than house dust, would appear as high, thin cloud.

"You can imagine how much volume of air is being sucked through a jet engine, you can accrue a lot of ash, and the turbine blades are very hot so it just sticks to the blades, melts and builds up and eventually stalls the engine."

The ash was at an altitude of between 20,000 and 35,000 feet. Jets normally cruised between 26,000 and 32,000ft, while turboprops operated at between 18,000 and 20,000ft, Mr Lechner said.

Aircraft could operate under that band safely, although jets would use more fuel at lower altitudes, making it more expensive for the airlines.

Airlines had to operate safely and keep out of the ash, and it was their decision on how they did that, he said.

It was difficult to determine how it might affect New Zealand flights.

"The eruption started on the 4th of June and took six or seven days to get to us, so even if the eruption stops now we would still have a further six or seven days of the plume posing a problem for us, possibly."

"We might find that after a few days, the local circulation changes it and takes it all south of us."

Chilean government scientists on Friday said seismic activity was decreasing slightly, and flights in South America have been returning to normal.

Jetstar cancelled 10 transtasman to or from Christchurch and Queenstown, and 20 domestic New Zealand flights yesterday..

It said customers could be rerouted to get to their destination, defer their flights free of charge or get a full refund.

Qantas said it was attempting to contact everyone ahead of their scheduled flight.

"We are doing our best to do a call out to everyone that we can," a spokeswoman said.

The MetService is tracking the volcanic ash plumes and providing warnings to the aviation industry.

ash at these new low levels gives us no choice but to cancel some services this morning,” says General Manager Airline Operations and Safety and Chief Pilot Captain David Morgan.

Comments and questions

At least you have tried to fly....

Agree but it wouldn't be too smart if one of their planes went down - Mr Morgan might have a problem also if that happened.

How many planes, if any, have been brought down by volcanic ashes so far?

Fair go...

Have a search on the internet of the report of the 747 BA flight from London to Australia that had a four engine 'flameout' due to flying into an ash cloud from volcanic eruption over Indonesia.

It's very fortuitous that the flight had reported issues in the cabin with the oxygen masks that necessitated the pilot to make a steep dive that cleared the engines otherwise they may never have lit up any of the engines.

The fact the flight landed in an emergency landing safely after restarting the engines (one was subsequently shut down after further issues) is a testament of the pilot and crew's skill after the windshield was so abraded by the ash cloud it was nearly opaque.

Could Jetstar be saving money through the cancellation of uneconomic flights?

The line of thought that any airline should choose to try and save money by not flying their planes is, clearly, a business nonsense. This is more likely a policy decision by an airline group whose safety record has historically been a key aspect of their brand.

BA 747 fly right over volcano and through very dense ash cloud

Actually in the BA case the drill called for oxygen masks on, however the co pilot's mask dis assembled as he was trying to put it on, Captain decided to go lower so the crew could operate, tough call because trading height for glide distance, as a result aircraft departed the ash cloud from underneath and engines restarted so all good.

High oil price or partially booked flights....

The start of the end of Jetstar in NZ

We had the crap treatment when they flew as Qantas and it is all starting again - not only not flying now but the level of service and failure to keep to their timetables

Air NZ for me - at least they fly and are on schedule - pity about their geriatric hostesses though

Lesson - dont ever ever buy a ticket on Jetstar or Qantas ever again. If Air NZ can fly and I dont believe they would do so if unsafe then why cant the others - answer - its more economic to sit them on the ground - after all they still have all yer money!!!

I never will use Jetstar again. They left us high and dry on the Gold Coast on Sunday. Had no interest in us , offered to give us a Jetstar voucher for return fare equivalent and find your own way home. After pointing out that was a stupid option they almost reluctantly booked us on same flight a WEEK later . Had to pay Air NZ 1000 fare to get home Monday via Brisbane. Pilot and crew were outstanding.
As for Jetstar i have just spent an hour cancelling the flight they rebooked us on . Got some offshore call centre who were a shambles , did not understand English and came up with a $50 voucher as a refund for our flight. After some patience i got them to do a bit better.
I can see them departing NZ as their customer service is literally non existent and their handing of this whole matter has been a disaster. I'll never use them again and neither will all those they have screwed both here and in OZ. Consumers have long memories..

"safety record has historically been a key aspect of their brand".

Well Qantas have done everything short of fall out of the sky in the last 2 years.

OneStar save money by not flying, they are a budget airline and very limited liabilities to their customers.

Sorry - don't get the logic. If an airline could save money by not flying, why would they be in business at all? Its a genuine question, because it doesn't seem to make any sense at all to me.

Jets star decision not to fly is more about economics than saftey it will cost them a lot to fly at lower altitudes (upwards of 10%). I am willing to bet they have some business interruption insurance that will be covering them - so grounding the planes makes perfect economical sense.

Marginally profitable flight + higher cost + insurance = cancellation.
I suspect cancellation would be the best option for the airline with or without insurance.

Flight cancelled to-day. Jetstar telephone permanently engaged. What's the protocol for finding out when I get to fly? Do they contact you? Or do I front up at the airport and wait for 24hrs? Help please.............

Aussies are flying their colours now. Happy to take our money but when a little more effort required then no fly? Notice how domestic is forgotten about when trans tasman is back on? Well done Air NZ once again for actually delivering on customer service and going the extra mile. That airline has had one serious turnaround over the last few years - very impressed.

I doubt that insurance would be sought for this as the premiums would be too high. The point of view expressed above that Jetstar's decision not to fly is based on economics is moronic.

Let's remember people that the problem here is a volcano & ash, not the airlines.

Maybe Air NZ is doing the right thing, I hope like heck that they don't get proved wrong.

I am sure there is an economic element to their decision. I don't believe Air NZ is reckless so to deny there could be any other explanation is indeed moronic.

I am deeply touched by the Australians' concern for our safety when they could have been running these flights and making tons of money like Air NZ.
We've been so wrong about them for all these years. A rethink about Aussie business attitudes seems long overdue.

This is the same airline that has a cadet program that puts pilots with as little as 200 hours in the flight deck.

If you want to bang on about safety that might be a good starting point.

I think Qantas is doing this because they have had such a bad safety record of late...

I think its payback time because of the free entry for apples.
They are so pissed about that they are using all the nasty little ex con tricks in the book.

Qantas is losing about A$20 million a day, while other airlines are enjoying the extra profit.....

Lessons are being learned by Jet Star clients

Never use them again perhaps

I was suppose to fly on the 14th of June, that got cancelled. Tried calling Jetstar.... Line was engaged. called every 2 hrs. FINALLY! at 2am, lines were up. BUT! I had to wait for an hour for a customer service representative. changed it to the 16th (tomorrow). That's just been announced cancelled aswell. Now what? Do it all again? Bullcrap.

The people who complain the most are probably also the people who will jump up and down the most when the engines stop running because of damage from the corrosive ash. The damage or incidents may not be immediate, they may compound over time until there is a catastrophe. I would rather be stranded and alive. Death can be extremely inconvenient.

"Air NZ cancels all South Island flights as ash cloud moves lower"

Flights are still going in and out of Nelson.

"Air NZ cancels all South Island flights as ash cloud moves lower"

Flights are still going in and out of Nelson.

"Air NZ cancels all South Island flights as ash cloud moves lower"
A very misleading headline.
While Air Nelson & Mt Cook airlines operate and are owned by AirNZ, they are still AirNZ flights.
Dunedin & Chch flights affected but Nelson-Akld etc no issues.

I didnt realies Queenstown was no longer in the South Island either...

Queenstowners dont think they live in the New Zealand - they live in their own country called New Zealand would exist if Queenstown wasnt here land - didnt you know that!.
Also NBR - i go the 'heads up' in my email at 9:44am - hardly a 'Heads Up' is it - I would say its all old news now. Come on NBR - left your game on the news and facts or no more subscriptions from me

It's frustrating because we are enjoying beautiful blue skies down this way and it is hard to believe there is any ash up there.

three words...

Is that a Maori word for I just kicked the table leg

The only way to make Jetstar service better is by only using airlines that give you the service you respect. They are market driven, vote with your dollar.

Air New Zealand, good on you...

While its personally frustrating not being able to fly where I want to go, I very much doubt that Jetstar leaving the domestic market and reducing the competition would be good for consumers. be careful what you wish for. There is a place for low-cost carriers in NZ.

I also doubt that Jetstar is particularly enjoying losing heaps of money with their tin sitting on the tarmac, so while I can certainly get frustrated with the difference in airline safety policies, to accuse them of doing this deliberately for financial gain is pointless and inaccurate.

all i can say to all Travel Insurance ,Travel insurance. I have been in this situation befeore where we had a flight cancelled by Air Nz withno travel insurance . We are to go to Auckland tomorrow to catch a cruise .
Thank god we have Travel insurance.

Jetstar should leave the domestic market - real what value do they bring. Domestic travel is NOT expensive and never has been. International Travel is NOT expensive (its the same price to fly to the UK now as it was 10 years ago). Is price really the only driver for people to hop on a plane? All Jetstar do is over promise, under deliver and cut into the value of our state owned carrier Air NZ - throw the mongrels out!
Cant stand the PC must have competition or we all lose out brigade pansys.

JETSTAR from melbourne to tassie a once only trip NO more .JETSLACK<

"Get Real People" - is that you Rob?

When's the last time you flew to Napier or Nelson?. Seriously, if you think that taking competition out of the domestic market is a good thing for New Zealand consumers, then I'm guessing you're not a member of the Business Roundtable.

And no, price is clearly not the only consideration for travellers, which is the beauty of having consumer choice based on a range of factors, in any market or industry.

I can be Rob if you want me to be??
Seriously - tell me what benefit having Jetstar here has had - do more people fly? NO. Do airlines make less money - YES. Its not all about the customer you know. I own several businesses and the idea Mr Roundtable is you make money. Throw them out - they add no value to anyone - unless you can prove otherwise.


Are you saying airlines should be protected from competition and that markets should be constrained for the benefit of an incumbent? Would you apply the same principle to say, Telecom? BNZ?

Yes, its a fact that more people are flying domestically in NZ than ever before, predominantly because of competition. Yes you are right that competition can erode market share and force down prices. Thats the commercial market at work.

I get it that Jetstar isn't your thing, fair enough, thats your choice, but there are plenty of other people who do use them out of choice, a choice largely based on price. That is why they have been able to grow more domestic services in NZ.

You say you own several businesses - thats great - but I can't believe its your philosophy in your own business that 'its not all about the customer'?

Is typing 'sigh' supposed to infer you are smarter than me? No Im not saying any business should be protected but why dumb down the product, lower the standards and raise the disappointment. New Zealand should be about quality not quantity. Gove me the domestic traveler numbers to back up your statement that more are traveling and then prove its because of the low airfares!
My point is - its not all about the customer otherwise we wouldnt be running businesses would be - that when they become charities. Businesses need to make money and lots of it, Why is everyone in NZ so dead against businesses and business people making money. its as though we aren't entitled to do that.
Next message can you use smaller words please. I dont know what an incumbent is.
And dont get me started on telecom! And the banks - lets face it - no bank gives you anything over the other - they are all bad, add no value to your business, can offer no input (despite having business units) and you probably only stay with the bank youre with cause you cant be arsed going through the inane process of changing to another only to get the same.

No - I'm not sighing because I think I'm smarter than you, but its clear we are looking at this from very different market perspectives. I agree that businesses should grow and make money, and that is a good thing for NZ, but I believe that competition grows markets by reducing monopolistic behaviour and by encouraging innovation on the part of business and by encouraging spending on the part of the consumer. And the good businesses benefit as a result (as Air NZ may well be doing from Jetstar's entry into the market).

Jetstars must be feeling the heat from shareholders....