Skies open but airport bedlam continues Updated 16 minutes ago Airlines are flying again but thousands of passengers are still stranded as airlines race to clear the backlog. (AAP : Julian Smith) Video: Stranded passengers endure airport sleepover (ABC News) Video: Qantas to resume flights (ABC News Breakfast) Related Story: Flights resume but chaos continues Related Link: Qantas major disruptions Related Link: Jetstar updates on ash cloud Related Link: Virgin updates on ash cloud Related Link: Tiger Airways ash cloud updates Passengers are finally boarding planes around the nation as the ash cloud from a Chilean volcano drifts towards New Zealand. Planes began taking off again from Adelaide airport this morning after the ash plume cancelled flights around the nation yesterday. Qantas said 50,000 of its customers had been affected in the past 48 hours, while Virgin expected 13,000 customers to be affected today. Virgin and Qantas were putting on larger aircraft to shift the thousands of passengers hit by flight cancellations. Both airlines started flying in and out of Melbourne and began again in Sydney and Canberra this afternoon. No airline is flying to New Zealand or Tasmania as the ash cloud drifts towards the Tasman Sea. The weather bureau says the ash cloud is drifting into Tasmanian airspace and will continue to affect flights through southern Australia tomorrow. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre says Hobart's airspace will be affected until at least tomorrow. The TT Line has made extra seats available on its Bass Strait ferry to help stranded airline passengers. In Brisbane, some passengers had boarded flights but yesterday's backlog was still causing long delays for others. Most hotels and motels were fully booked overnight with some passengers having to stay at Redcliffe or as far away as the Gold Coast. Some flights were still being cancelled at Gold Coast airport. A Jetstar spokeswoman said all flights to and from New Zealand and Hobart had been cancelled for the rest of the day. But flights to and from Melbourne resumed this morning, and Sydney and Newcastle services resumed this afternoon. Tiger Airways flights to Melbourne and Sydney were still scheduled to operate. Dr Andrew Tupper from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre said the ash was unlikely to circle the Earth a third time and cause further disruptions to Australian air space. Dr Tupper said the eruption in Chile was "exceptional" but ash was no longer flowing from the volcano as heavily as it was. He said it was unusual for ash clouds to do two circuits of the globe, let alone three. "The predictions are that it will be well south of Australia [and more] dispersed than it is now," he said. "International flights from Sydney and Melbourne have also been affected. They should resume this afternoon." Counting the cost Qantas believed the disruptions had cost the airline $20 million, but spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said the airline was more concerned with getting customers out of airports. Tourism officials said the disruption caused over the past fortnight had cost the national industry more than $15 million. Tourism and Transport Forum spokesman John Lee said many Queensland tourism businesses were suffering from what had been termed constant shock syndrome. "We lurch from one crisis to another," he said. "The Brisbane floods, followed by Cyclone Yasi and then for our inbound markets - that is the two main markets of New Zealand and Japan - for them to have their own detrimental disasters also has had a real detrimental effect on far north Queensland and the Gold Coast," he said. Canberra Airport spokesman Stephen Byron earlier said it was facing a significant backlog. Brindabella Airlines in Canberra was still flying to Newcastle and Albury. Other airlines were due resume passenger flights out of Canberra from 1.00pm (AEST) as the cloud begins to dissipate. Mr Byron said the airport would remain open as late as necessary. "Canberra Airport does not have a curfew and nor does Melbourne or Brisbane," he said. "So the first cut off will be Sydney at 11.00 tonight with their curfew and we won't be able to get anymore flights into Sydney after that time. "But this is a very significant backlog with particularly Sydney and also Melbourne disrupted since midday yesterday through to around midday today."