14 Jun 2011

Former pilot sees no need to cancel flights

1:21 pm on 14 June 2011

A former pilot who helped launch a European satellite to track worldwide volcanic ash says there is no need for airlines to panic and cancel flights this far away from the eruption in Chile.

Qantas and Jetstar have cancelled dozens of flights since the weekend because of the volcanic ash cloud, but Air New Zealand is flying as normal.

Qantas says all services have been cancelled for the remainder of today.

Former British Airways captain Eric Moody flew into ash from an Indonesian volcano in 1982, causing all four engines to fail.

He says volcanic ash is dangerous if a plane is close to an eruption, but otherwise there's no reason to stop flying.

Mr Moody says if Air New Zealand says it's safe to fly, then it is.