Dozens of flights canceled at Sydney and Melbourne airports as the industry struggles with staff shortages

Dozens of flights canceled at Sydney and Melbourne airports as the industry struggles with staff shortages

Dozens of flights canceled at Sydney and Melbourne airports as the industry struggles with staff shortages

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Flight cancellations on multiple airlines on Monday frustrated travelers at Sydney and Melbourne airports as the industry grapples with a shortage of staff and a technical glitch affecting Qantas flights on Sunday.

Through Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Rex, 23 domestic flights departing from Sydney airport were canceled on Monday.

Of these, 15 flights were bound for Melbourne, of which eight were canceled from Qantas.

Related: Australian travelers face more delays as airport baggage handlers threaten to strike

Virgin Australia has canceled eight flights from Sydney to locations including Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and the Gold Coast.

There were 12 domestic flight cancellations at Melbourne Airport on Monday: seven from Qantas, four from Virgin and one from Jetstar.

Guardian Australia understands that the cancellations were due to crew illnesses, as cases of influenza and Covid-19 increase across the country.

Qantas was experiencing slight delays due to an accident on Sunday when a technical problem delayed flights and caused passengers to wait on the tarmac and in the terminals for over an hour.

One passenger expressed frustration on Twitter that an hour and a half waiting on the tarmac was close to the duration of the flight itself, while another said driving would be faster when the delay exceeded two hours.

Guardian Australia is aware that international and domestic flights were affected by the technical problem on Sunday.

On Monday, a Qantas spokesperson said: “We have resolved an IT problem that caused delays of about an hour for some flights on Sunday afternoons.”

A Virgin Australia Group spokesperson said, “We sincerely apologize to all guests affected by delayed or canceled services and continue to work hard to ensure all guests reach their destination.”

The latest cancellations and delays added to ongoing challenges for the aviation industry, after international rankings revealed Sydney Airport was one of the worst for on-time performance and cancellations.

This is the first plane of the new low-cost airline Bonza to land on Monday morning at the Sunshine Coast airport, which will become the airline’s base.

The airline said in a statement that it is working to get the planes off the ground in September after regulatory approval.

“Additional aircraft will follow and ultimately support Bonza’s growth plans beyond its initial Sunshine Coast and Melbourne bases,” the company said.

The budget airline will serve 27 domestic routes and estimated flight prices will start at “$ 50 for every hour a customer is in the air”.

Bonza appealed to the public to help name the plane. The company’s overwhelming Instagram favorite was “Planey McPlaneface” in a clear nod to Boaty McBoatface. The “purple rippa” was another option that recalled the colors of the airline, as well as “Bonza Bruce”, “‘Gympie Golden Gate” and “Stevo” in memory of Steve Irwin.

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