Chaos at Sydney airport as flight cancellations affected hundreds of travelers for the second weekend in a row
- Strong winds force delayed flights to Sydney
- A track closed due to stormy conditions
- Staff shortages in Brisbane also delay flights
The country’s busiest airport has been confined to a single runway for the second consecutive weekend of high winds, causing further travel disruption.
More than 40 domestic flights in and out of Sydney on Sunday were canceled and dozens more were delayed.
A Sydney airport spokeswoman confirmed that it has moved to single runway operations on the advice of AirServices Australia.
“While the impact is minimal, there are some flight delays and cancellations,” it said in a statement.
“Passengers should check with their airlines for the latest information on the status of their flights.”
It is understood that a shortage of air traffic control personnel in Brisbane airspace is causing further delays for passengers.
Passengers have faced a frustrating wait at Sydney Airport with high winds causing a runway to be closed (generic image pictured)
Sydney Airport typically operates two north-south runways, but moves to a single east-west strip when experiencing crosswinds.
More than 100 domestic flights were canceled at Sydney airport last weekend when pilots were confined to a single runway due to stormy conditions.
The cancellations caused a massive build-up, with large crowds forming at the airport’s domestic terminal as the NSW school holidays began.
“Gusty crosswinds from the west” also caused the airport to close a runway on Friday.
“This decision is purely weather and safety related to protect the traveling public,” an Airservices Australian spokesperson told Nine News.
Strong to damaging winds were forecast to remain over south-eastern Australia for at least 48 hours with Adelaide and Melbourne seeing the worst conditions.
The airport saw more than 200 domestic flights canceled in recent days.
The flights were largely canceled due to bad weather and crew shortages, with Virgin alone canceling five return flights due to staff unavailability.
The cancellations left several customers frustrated, especially families whose school vacation plans fell apart.
Strong winds have caused numerous delays at Sydney Airport over the past week (generic image pictured)
One Virgin customer said she had “never had a worse experience”.
“We were meant to take my family to Hobart for a long-awaited vacation,” he said.
‘After a last minute cancellation and long waits, another flight rescheduled tomorrow. I don’t trust them to take us there.
Meanwhile, a Qantas customer said his family was delayed for six hours and encountered technical difficulties at check-in.
“I’m not happy, my partner is very tall and there are two exit rows available on the seat map, but they show up as ‘unavailable’ when we try to select them,” she said.