Bloomberg News

South American Air Travel Resumes as Ash Cloud Disperses

October 17, 2011

(Updates to add Lan resuming flights in second paragraph.)

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- International and domestic flights out of Buenos Aires resumed after ash clouds from a volcano in Chile, which disrupted flights yesterday and this morning, cleared.

Lan Airlines SA, Latin America’s biggest airline by market value, said it was “gradually” resuming flights after studies showed “no presence of ash in the airspace over Buenos Aires.” Lan had earlier canceled flights from Buenos Aires to Lima, Santiago and Montevideo. Aerolineas Argentinas SA, which canceled 39 domestic flights this morning, said on its website that travel was re-starting.

Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex began to erupt June 4, generating ash clouds that led to flight cancellations in June and July because of concern that they may clog jet engines. The disruptions spread around the globe to New Zealand and Australia before shifting winds made travel possible again.

A thin coating of grey ash drifted down on Buenos Aires yesterday as the ash cloud returned. Chilean towns near the volcano have been under a “red alert” since the eruption began in June while damage to livestock and crops from ash led Argentina to declare an agriculture emergency earlier this year in the southern provinces of Rio Negro, Chubut and Neuquen.

--With assistance from James Attwood in Santiago. Editors: Richard Jarvie, Robert Jameson

To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Faries in Buenos Aires at wfaries@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net


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