BY JAMES WILKINSON
Tomorrow’s (June 22) Serviced Apartments Summit and Thursday’s (June 23) ANZPHIC 2011 conference have been postponed indefinitely due to the cancellation of Sydney flights as a result of the ash cloud from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano.
While Sydney flights were expected to resume by tomorrow, Horwath HTL Australia’s Managing Director John Smith said “as with previous disruptions to airline services it is likely that even after services resume, there will be backlogs and further delays to deal with”.
“In the circumstances we feel we have no choice but to defer both the Serviced Apartment Summit that was due to take place tomorrow and ANZPHIC 2011 that was due to commence tomorrow night and run through to 1pm Friday,” he said in an email to delegates this afternoon (June 21).
“We have over 150 interstate and international delegates amongst the 400-plus registered delegates for these events and of course we also have many international and interstate speakers and sponsors.
“In 11 years of running ANZPHIC we have never had to consider such a drastic move as postponing the event and whilst we are firm believers in the principle that ‘the show must go on’ we don’t think the present circumstances allow us any choice but to defer both events and re-schedule them for a future date when we can deliver two events to the standard we know all of our stakeholders expect.
“We will urgently review potential dates and will be in touch again in a few days time, but for now we wanted to let you know at the earliest possible time about this unavoidable decision and extend our apologies for any inconvenience.”
The ash cloud forced Tiger to cancel all flights across the airline’s network, and Qantas and Jetstar to cancel all domestic Sydney services from 3pm today. Virgin’s Sydney and Melbourne flights have also been suspended from 4pm onwards.