Ash cloud from Chilean volcano grounds Australian flights

June 21, 2011 11:39

MELBOURNE - An ash cloud from a volcano in Chile has wreaked havoc on Australian flights and prompted the country's leading airline Qantas to cancel flights to and from the nation's biggest airports on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Virgin Australia was also canceling domestic flights in and out of Sydney and other key cities from Tuesday afternoon.

Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said flights would remain grounded all day on Wednesday to and from the biggest airports of Sydney and Melbourne, and to the national capital, Canberra.

She said the cancellations affected more than 200 flights and 20,000 passengers each day. International flights due to land in Sydney late on Tuesday would be diverted to Brisbane, she said.

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