Queenstown air travel back in action

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Planes are flying in Queenstown skies once more.

Air New Zealand and Jetstar flights have both resumed operating in and out of Queenstown this afternoon (Friday).

Delays are expected while the carriers clear the backlog from yesterday, when all Queenstown flights ground to a halt due to the volcanic ash cloud caused by a Chilean volcanic eruption.

Trans-Tasman and domestic Jetstar flights have been cancelled all week but Air New Zealand, which had been operating throughout the country, was forced to shut down yesterday because the ash cloud dropped to lower levels.

All Queenstown tourism bosses keep weather eye on Mother Nature

Queenstown’s tourism promoter is keeping a close eye on how the local industry could be impacted by Mother Nature’s recent blows. 

Destination Queenstown’s marketing boss Graham Budd says it’s too early to say whether flights disrupted by the Chilean volcanic ash cloud, lack of snow and Monday’s severe aftershocks in earthquake-ravaged Christchurch will make a dent on the resort’s visitor numbers. 

“We haven’t noticed any direct negative impact from the aftershocks or the ash cloud – apart from the fact that Jetstar and Qantas cancelled its flights,” Budd says. 

“That is very disappointing but there’s nothing we can do about it.” 

With Winter Festival opening next Friday, Budd says DQ’s “not concerned” about what impact the natural events may have on Queenstown’s biggest annual event. 

“It’s a daily watching brief in terms of what’s going to happen,” he says. “We hope that the airlines return to flying very soon. 

“The important thing for us is that Air New Zealand is continuing to fly and they’re our most important carrier in terms of domestic and trans-Tasman. 

“But nothing at this point is cause for great concern.”