Singapore Airlines Clears Australia Backlog from Volcano


Singapore Airlines said on Sunday it has cleared its backlog of passengers who were left stranded in Australia when a volcanic eruption in Iceland created an ash cloud that shut down European airports.

Singapore said its international schedule was back to normal and all affected passengers had either left the country or were booked on flights.

“Singapore Airlines is pleased to announce all its flights are now operating as per its usual international network schedule,” the carrier said in a statement.

“Additionally, the backlog of its European customers stranded in Australia as a result of the European airspace closure has been cleared, with affected passengers either safely en route to their intended destinations or booked on a flight to travel at their earliest convenience.”

Australian carrier Qantas, which has estimated some 15,000 people were affected by the shutdown of major European airports including London’s Heathrow, said its backlog would take longer to clear.

The airline, which on Friday announced supplementary flights to Europe from Australia, said it would take two or three weeks to find seats for all those affected in Australia, Asia and Europe, a spokeswoman told AFP.

“We have been working with the relevant airport authorities to gain clearances to operate supplementary flights between Australia and Europe,” chief executive Alan Joyce said on Friday.

“We estimate it will take approximately two to three weeks to clear the current back load.”

Clouds of ash from an Icelandic volcano caused a week of massive disruption and left hundreds of thousands of travellers stranded as many European countries closed their airspace, only reopening earlier this week.

Europe-bound flights from Australia resumed on Wednesday.

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