Chilean volcano sends plumes of ash across South America
A helicopter flies over smoke and ash rising from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain near Osorno city in south-central Chile June 5, 2011. A volcano dormant for decades erupted in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching an ash cloud more than 6 miles (10 km) high that blew over the Andes and carpeted a popular ski resort in neighboring Argentina. Picture taken through a plane window. REUTERS

Qantas Airways Ltd has cancelled all the flights in and out of Melbourne from Sunday evening due to a volcanic eruption in southern Chile.

The ash cloud has covered New Zealand's south island and parts of Tasmania causing more than thousands of travelers to be trapped in Australia and New Zealand.

Jetstar has stopped 66 flights, affecting 8,600 passengers, spokeswoman Jennifer Timm told Bloomberg Businessweek by telephone.

New Zealand airspace may be affected for at least a week, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority said on Saturday.

About 320 flights in and out of two international airports in Buenos Aires, Argentina, were cancelled on June 9, since the volcano eruption, according to the terminals’ operator, Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 SA.

Strong winds have carried the ash some 9,400 kilometers across the Pacific since Chile's Puyehue volcano erupted.

Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth told ABC news that the airline is monitoring the cloud. Qantas and Jetstar have cancelled 88 flights till now due to volcanic eruptions in southern Chile.