Australia Weather News

Long lines and flight delays accumulate as Sydney Airport shuts runways due to high wind. - ABC

Up to 100 flights in and out of Sydney Airport have been delayed and dozens more have been cancelled due to high winds.

The airport and airlines have not stated how long it will take to clear the backlog, but passengers at the airport told the ABC that airlines had said it might take days for them to get another flight.

An airport spokeswoman said up to 100 flights had been stopped and only one of three runways was operating due to gusts of nearly 60 kilometres per hour.

At this stage the high winds are only affecting domestic flights. International flights are running as usual.

Air Services Australia warned there will be more flight cancellations later on Thursday due to the strong cross winds.

"A single runway is operating due to strong, gustily crosswinds and that's forecast to last until [the airport's] curfew tonight at 11:00pm," a spokeswoman said.

At 1:35pm Sydney Airport posted a tweet confirming that delays would continue.

"Single runways operations are continuing this afternoon. Please check your airline for updated flight status," it said.

Qantas cancelled 26 domestic flights to and from Sydney airport and said it was moving people to the next available service.

That caused a knock-on effect to other flights resulting in a number of delays, a spokesman said.

Virgin Australia cancelled 40 flights.

"Due to strong winds at Sydney Airport today, air traffic control has imposed single runway operations affecting a number of Virgin Australia flights," a spokeswoman said.

"We are working to have all passengers on their way as quickly as possible and thank our guests for their patience."

Jetstar cancelled 35 flights but said it had put on ad hoc services to try and prevent further delays.

All airlines were encouraging customers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

Elderly couple 'rolls with the punches'

John and Margaret Morris were heading to Adelaide to catch a paddle steamer to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary when their flight to Adelaide was cancelled.

The pair, from the Hunter region, said they had called up the airline yesterday to confirm their flights but had no such courtesy in return.

"Nobody let us know by phone or anything that it has been cancelled," Mr Morris said.

The octogenarians were in good spirits and hopeful their rebooked flight, scheduled for after 8:00pm, would be able to depart.

"You've just got to roll with the punches," Mr Morris said.

Wollongong family Kim, Anabelle and Mia Fingland, were going to be heading to Queensland for a surf competition before their flights were cancelled.

The youngest, Mia, seemed more excited about their alternative travel arrangements.

"We're going to stay in a hotel in Bondi," she said.

The weather bureau predicts the strong winds will persist into the late afternoon or evening.

ABC