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Australian airlines resume domestic flights, thousands still stranded

06-13-2011 16:38 BJT

CANBERRA, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Australian airlines, Qantas and Jetstar announced on Monday afternoon to resume most of their domestic services in and out of Melbourne after volcanic ash from Chile caused chaos at airports across Australia and New Zealand.

The airlines' services to Tasmania of Australia and New Zealand, however, are still grounded, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

According to Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth, 20,000 passengers and 100 flights have been canceled over the long weekend due to an ash plume from a Chilean volcano that began erupting a week ago.

In a move to clear the backlog of stranded passengers, Wirth told ABC News that Qantas will begin running supplementary services, particularly between Sydney and Melbourne, but she did not say when it expected New Zealand and Tasmania services to resume.

Qantas expects further delays this week due to the volcanic ash, and there are concerns the ash cloud is heading towards Adelaide of Australia.

Meanwhile, Tiger Airways is still waiting to get its fleet off the ground saying flights will not resume until at least 5:00 p.m. on Monday.

Virgin Australia was the first to resume domestic flights out of Melbourne at Monday's dawn, and is now flying to Tasmania and New Zealand.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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