Jetstar, Qantas resume flights, cloud floats east
Qantas has confirmed its flights to and from New Zealand have resumed from noon today.
UPDATE Friday 11am
After a week of continued flight cancellations, Jetstar has announced it will resume all regular scheduled services from noon today.
Jetstar Australia & New Zealand CEO, David Hall said even though services were returning to normal, Jetstar will maintain a watchful eye on the movement of the ash cloud.
Civil Aviation Authority meteorologist Peter Lechner said the cloud is off the country now.
“It is sitting out East about half way to the Chatham islands.”
Mr Lechner said it was difficult to say whether the same cloud would return given the strong winds that brought it back earlier this week.
However Lechner said he was confident the volcano, part of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain was not going to produce more troublesome plumes as it currently is only spurting out plumes to 12,000ft.
UPDATE Friday 9am
Qantas has also suspended flights due to the continuing disturbances by the ash cloud.
The airline has suspended all flights to and from Queenstown. Services to and from Christchurch and Wellington are suspended until noon today.
UPDATE Friday 7am
JetStar has cancelled all flights to and from Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington, including transtasman service until at least midday.
All Air New Zealand flights are listed as running to schedule.
UPDATE Thursday 1:45 pm
While two sailings remain cancelled tomorrow, the Interislander has announced it will resume full services over the weekend.
Interislander general manager Thomas Davis said a captain is now available for the Kaitaki's 8.25am sailing and its return from Picton at 1.45pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Earlier today Mr Davis cancelled the sailings due to staff sickness. He said the company appreciated the delays were bad for freight customers.
"We apologise for the delays, and we are working as hard as possible to ensure those delays are as minimal as possible."
UPDATE Thursday 12:30pm
The ash cloud continues to frustrate passengers as Jetstar has cancelled flights in and out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for the remainder of today. The cancellations include some transtasman services.
Qantas has suspended flights to and from Queenstown and Wellington until further notice. Christchurch services are suspended until 11pm .
UPDATE Thursday 9am
As if continuing flight cancellations weren't enough, the interislander cancelled sailings as New Zealand's transport woes continued.
Staff illnesses forced the Interislander ferry to cancel sailings from Wellington to Picton until Sunday.
The Interisland line cancelled the 8:25am crossing Wellington to Picton and its return sailing from Picton at 1.10pm from today until Sunday.
Interislander general manager Thomas Davis said cancellations were caused by rostering problems. Because of staff sickness there were not enough captains able to operate the ferry Kaitaki.
Mr Davis said the cancellations would cause a backlog of freight but he was unable to put on extra services next week to clear it.
"We will work closely with our customers and Strait Shipping to help customers get their freight delivered."
Most of the affected passengers have been transferred to other services.
Mr Davis said weather was not a factor in the decision and the company's 12 other services per day would resume as normal.
Jetstar defends decisions
Meanwhile Jetstar said it strongly denied claims that decisions not to fly were in any way related to cost cutting measures.
Jetstar group chief executive officer Bruce Buchanan said the suggestion grounding flights would improve financial performance "is out-of-touch with the tough reality of running an airline".
Mr Buchanan confirmed Jetstar would face costs in excess of $13 million because of the grounding of flights.
Thursday 6am: The Chilean ash cloud continued to interupt air service.
JetStar cancelled all flights to and from Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown untill noon today.
Its parent airline Qantas cancelled all flights to and from Christchurch, and all flights to and from Wellington until 2pm.
All Air New Zealand flights were flyingto schedule.