Travel plans from Australia to Europe continue to be disrupted with international terminals almost deserted.

And it’s not only airlines who are looking for a quick end to the situation.

Anna Chisholm reports.


Passengers at Brisbane airport due to fly to Europe are facing uncertainty some having to wait to fly until early May.

Many have not been provided with accommodation.

John and Joan Buttle from Devon, United Kingdom: “I think it’s a difficult situation for everybody… it’s not Qantas’s fault… it’s not going to kill us to pay for a few days in a youth hostel.”

Around 63 thousand flights have been cancelled and nearly seven million passengers have been affected.

Trade winds have been pushing the ash cloud south and east toward northern Europe across many of the world’s busiest air routes.

By later this week, the winds are predicted to shift further north.

Volcanologist Dr Scott Bryan says authorities are not overreacting in cancelling flights.

He says if there is enough ash in the atmosphere it would have the capacity to abrade cockpit windows or the structure of the aircraft.

DR Scott Bryan, Volcanologist: “But really the key issue is the engines and the ash particles get inside the engine the heat re-melts the ash particles they clog and stick to the engine.”

The European Union presidency has announced half the flights scheduled could go ahead tomorrow.

But this may seem too soon.

DR Scott Bryan: “There also needs to be constant monitoring and assessment in terms of the amount of ash that’s present in the atmosphere, what altitude it is, which way the winds are blowing.”

The Global travel chaos is already having an impact on one of our most sacred pilgrimages, Gallipolli. Many Australians have been forced to cancel Anzac Day service tours to Turkey.

Anna Chisholm, QUT News