More than 40 flights have been canceled at Sydney Airport due to poor weather conditions, creating chaos for hundreds of travelers who were hoping to take advantage of the public holiday.
Air traffic controllers on Wednesday night warned airlines the airport could be forced to reduce to single runway operations on Thursday after strong winds of almost 40 km/h were forecast.
As a result, multiple airlines chose to cancel services ahead of the poor weather forecast to prevent thousands of travelers arriving to potentially canceled flights at Sydney Airport on Thursday.
“In anticipation of bad weather today, domestic airlines advised overnight that some services would be affected,” the airport said in a statement.
“Passengers are advised to check with their airline regarding the status of their flight. Passengers who are traveling today are recommended to arrive 2 hours prior to domestic flight departures, and 3 hours for international services.”
On Thursday morning, Sydney Airport spokesperson Josh Clements told Sydney radio station 2GB the airport had not yet been forced to move to single runway operations, but flights were still being canceled in anticipation.
“The alternative was to run the gauntlet and have those passengers show up,” he said. “If we did go to single runways there would have been lots of disrupted passengers in the terminals today.”
Multiple passengers said they were unaware their flight had been canceled until they attempted to check in at the airport, Nine News reported.