Ash cloud moves quickly across state, stranding 3,300 air passengers.
An ash cloud from an erupting volcano has now canceled 41 flights to and from six cities in Alaska, including all flights operating to and from Fairbanks, Seattle-based Alaska Airlines announced late Monday afternoon.
The massive ash cloud from Mount Pavlof, a volcano 600 miles southwest of Anchorage that started erupting Sunday evening, is moving north at up to 65 knots (75 mph). The canceled flights have affected 3,300 passengers, the airline said.
Flights are suspended to Barrow, Bethel, Fairbanks, Kotzebue, Nome and Prudhoe Bay until the airline is able to assess weather reports after daylight on Tuesday. If weather conditions improve, a statement from the airline said, Alaska will resume its regularly scheduled 54 flights to the affected six cities Tuesday.
Volcanic ash poses a hazard to aircraft on the ground and in the air, as it limits visibility and damages engines.
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“We simply won’t fly where ash is present,” said John Ladner, Alaska’s director of operations.
Passengers with reservations to one of the affected cities may check the flight status at alaskaair.com or call 800-252-7522.