The mass closure of flights at the Brisbane Airport recently might have caused nightmares for stranded passengers, but it turned out to be good news for Ipswich hotels.
With ash clouds forcing the cancellation of many flights from Brisbane over the last few days, a large number of passengers have had to stay in the Sunshine State for an extra day.
And with accommodation in Brisbane filling out fast, many stranded passengers ended up spending Tuesday night in an Ipswich hotel.
Alex van Kersen, general manager of the Metro Hotel Ipswich International, said they had taken on “quite a few” of those stranded passengers.
He said Ipswich’s cheaper prices and room availability made the city a prime accommodation location during such events.
“We have quite a few people staying with us because of the ash problems,” Mr van Kersen said.
“Staying in Ipswich is a good option.”
Country Comfort Ipswich owner Peter Graves said they had also accommodated a number of stranded plane passengers.
“It has happened before. When Brisbane becomes over full, they come out to regions like Ipswich,” Mr Graves said.
“The same thing happens when State of Origin is on.”
Flights between major Australian mainland airports resumed yesterday after two days of cancellations but in the afternoon airlines cancelled all Tasmanian flights.
Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar said the lingering ash cloud from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano had forced the suspension of flights to Hobart and Launceston on Wednesday, initially scheduled to resume from noon.
A Qantas spokeswoman said about 20,000 passengers had been disrupted by this volcano over the past two days Jetstar estimates around 9500 of its passengers were affected by the ash cloud.
Greyhound Australia yesterday put on extra bus services in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, while Countrylink added additional carriages to its Brisbane to Sydney rail service and its 8.30am Melbourne to Sydney service.
Airservices Australia does not expect the volcanic ash to clear from Tasmania’s airspace until early this morning.