Volcanic ash cancels flights in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES, July 1, 2011 (AFP) - Ash from a Chilean volcano once again played havoc with Argentina's air travel Friday, forcing cancelation of all domestic flights from Buenos Aires, and many at the city's international airport.

"All flights have been canceled at Aeroparque (domestic airport) and there are carriers that are doing the same at Ezeiza," the capital's main international airfield, said a spokesman at Argentine Airports 2000.

Airlines made their calls based on weather forecasters' decision about the atmospheric ash, which can harm jet engines.

The Puyehue volcano in southern Chile burst into eruption June 4 after a half-century of quiet, and now is actually on the quieter side, though ash woes remain.

Flights from airports across South America -- including hubs in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, the Chilean capital Santiago and southern Brazilian cities -- have all been affected in recent weeks due to ash clouds, which have also swept around the Southern Hemisphere to linger over Australia and New Zealand.

Puyehue, which rumbled to life early this month for the first time since 1960, is high in the Andes mountains, 870 kilometers (540 miles) south of Santiago and near the border with Argentina.

Winds have spread the ash across much of southern Argentina, hitting tourism hard at the start of the winter ski season.