Airlines have begun suspending flights to and from Perth as the ash cloud from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano moves over Western Australia.
“The northern boundary of the ash cloud which affected flights from Melbourne and Adelaide over the past 48 hours is now located over Bass Strait,” Airservices Australia said in an update this morning.
“The bottom of the ash cloud approaching Western Australia is at a lower level than that seen on the east coast, and is expected to cover a band between 15,000ft-35000ft (4.5km-10.5km).”
Qantas and Virgin Australia have both announced they are suspending fights to and from Perth from 1pm (WST) today.
“The ash plume is forecast to be at a lower band level of approximately 15,000ft and with this in mind, Virgin Australia will suspend all services into and out of Perth as a precautionary measure,” Virgin Australia group executive Operations Sean Donohue said in a statement.
“We are in the process of advising our guests and will monitor the situation throughout the day.”
“Qantas will continue to monitor the movement of the ash cloud and assess its impact on flight operations as the situation develops,” a Qantas statement reads.
Meanwhile, Qantas and Jetstar have restarted other previously affected scheduled mainland services (including to/from Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney). Tiger has also resumed flights to and from Adelaide, but cancelled two Perth flights yesterday due to the ash cloud. Qantas’s flights to and from Tasmania and New Zealand remain suspended for Wednesday morning.