South Amerian hubs open once again

by William ASTON on June 13, 2011

Flights to and from of major airports across Argentina and Uruguay have started to return back to normal, after two days of disruption that were caused by one vast cloud of ash from a Chilean volcano that had erupted.

Argentina’s two most major airports, both in the capital Buenos Aires, re-opened late Friday night. Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital, followed suit later and its main airport re-opened shortly after. Meanwhile, Australia’s main airline, Qantas, cancelled a series of flights between Australian, New Zealand, and South American hubs because of the ash.

Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano range started erupting a week ago but strong winds across the high atmosphere are now carrying fine ash particles to Africa countries like Tasmania, which are some 10,000km to the west of the volcano, yet on a similar latitude.

Most flights leaving and heading to Montevideo’s Carrasco international airport started running normally on Saturday morning, with Buenos Aires airport authorities telling of their hope that flights schedules will be able to get back to normal before the start of the week.

Despite mostly positive developments however, several other airports across Argentina – which are mainly located in Patagonia - remain closed, sparking fears for the area’s particularly popular ski season, at the start of winter. By Friday, workers in Bariloche, a Patagonian resort had already managed to fill 600 lorries with ash from the local airport’s main runway.

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