Tonga Flights Cancelled Due To Volcanic Eruption

13 January 2015

All flights to, from and within Tonga continue to be cancelled after the eruption of the Hunga Ha'apai volcano, located 63 kilometres north of Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa.

The volcano is currently spewing ash about 4,500 metres into the air, causing no visibility and concern about the risks to aircraft and passengers.

Travellers who have had their flights cancelled will be re-accommodated by the airlines. Services to Tonga are expected to resume later this week.

Air New Zealand's flight to Nuku'alofa was diverted to Samoa yesterday and the airline has cancelled another flight between Auckland and Tonga this evening.

At this stage no other trans-Pacific flights have been affected with flights to other Pacific islands from New Zealand, USA and Australia continuing to operate.

According to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Wellington the ash cloud is expected to dissipate by about 10pm (AEDT) tonight.

The last time Hunga Ha'apai erupted was in March, 2009. A video of this eruption can be seen below.

(Lead Image: Getty)

Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.