Chile ash disruption spreads West in Australia

Chile ash disruption spreads West in Australia

But as the fallout from the eruption of the Puyehue volcano, high in the Andes, entered a fourth day, there was better news for passengers flying to and from Adelaide, with Qantas, Jetstar and Tiger resuming services.

But Qantas again cancelled all flights to New Zealand and the southern island of Tasmania, as well as the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires.

Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre forecaster Graham Weston told ABC radio that cold air from the south of Western Australia was pushing the ash towards Perth.

"It is drawing up some of that ash we do have in the Southern Ocean towards the south-west of the continent," he said.

"But what we hope to see when we get some more imagery is to see how it's dispersing or not, and it could disperse before it gets there."

If the cloud reaches Western Australia, it could then drift across to eastern or northern Australia, or head out to sea depending on winds, he said.

While Qantas has taken a conservative approach to the ash, cancelling flights, Virgin has largely chosen to fly around or under the plume with all services to New Zealand and Tasmania operating. But it is taking no chances with Perth, saying the cloud is now lower and more dangerous.

"Virgin will suspend flights to and from Perth from 1 pm (local time) today," spokeswoman Melissa Thomson told Sky News, adding that around 12 services would be affected.

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