The eruption of Indonesia’s Mt Merapi volcano has forced a number of airlines flying between Asian destinations and Perth to extend their flying times due to a major cloud of ash lingering over the northwest of WA.
According to The West Australian, Qantas flights from Singapore have been forced to fly east of Timor before turning south to Perth, adding about 90 minutes to their journey. Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines have also confirmed that their flights to Perth have been forced to take different tracks and fly at lower cruising altitudes, while passengers on a recent Jetstar flight were forced to divert to Darwin for a refuelling stop en route to Perth.
The latest volcanic advisory from the Bureau of Meteorology shows that cloud possibly containing volcanic ash has been observed at FL400-500 in an area of the Indian Ocean bounded approximately from Exmouth to Derby up to over most of Java and the southern tip of Sulawesi.
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