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SYDNEY AIRPORT: Flight delays, cancellations, weather and extreme turbulence.

SYDNEY AIRPORT: Flight delays, cancellations, weather and extreme turbulence.

Sydney Airport has had its challenges over the last few days. I keep reading reports of bad weather and high winds causing the airport to operate with only one runway on Friday. That then led to over 100 flight delays and cancellations. Its also been reported that staff shortages, including Air Traffic Controllers, have caused some issues for flights to and from Brisbane Airport.

Oh NO! This all feels like a repeat of holiday disruptions during the previous school holidays. Friday was the last day of school term in New South Wales, with some families obviously hoping to escape early.

Sydney Airport

The delays in Sydney were caused largely by weather which reduced the airport to operating only one runway, a call Airservices Australia made due to bad weather. That caused massive delays to departures and arrivals, which also means airlines cancel flights.

Flights resumed with two runways operation at about 3 pm, but disruptions were expected to continue until 11 pm Friday 30 June

Brisbane Airport

At Brisbane, the issue was Air Traffic Controllers calling in sick, and being short-staffed, with no backup. The SMH is reporting that it will take up to 6 months for more staff to be trained so that this won’t happen on a regular basis.

First Class seats on Hawaiian Airways
Hawaiian Airlines, A330 First Class [Hawaiian Airlines]

Hawaiian Airlines A330 hits turbulence

And as if that all wasn’t enough, an incoming A330 flight with 163 passengers and 12 crew from Honolulu to Sydney suffered unexpected severe turbulence halfway through its traversing of the Pacific Ocean. The jet landed safely in Sydney, but four on the plane including three staff members were sent to hospital suffering injuries or back pain.

Passengers reportedly not wearing seat belts flew to the ceiling.

Flight HA452, departed Sydney to Honolulu at roughly 10.30 pm Sydney time on Friday after a full inspection.

Madrid Airport, Terminal 4S
Madrid Airport, Terminal 4s 2023 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Another reason to always keep your seatbelt fastened during a flight. Irrespective of the class you are travelling in.

These sorts of weather-related issues are always going to happen and with climate change probably more often. There is not much any airline can do about this. And that includes turbulence on that Hawaiian Airways flight. The Air Traffic Controllers’ staffing issue, that’s a different matter. These are well-paid, although notoriously stressful jobs. It sounds like a combination of bad planning by Airservices Australia and the pressures of the high levels of employment

I’m travelling in Europe, in the Northern Hemisphere summer. Aircraft are full, but airports – I’m talking from the small ones like Granada’s Federico García Lorca Airport through to Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport – seem to be coping. Gatwick, as I previously reported had a bit of a challenge in its security area the day I travelled. So Europe, broadly now that the UK is out of the EU – is not without its problems.

At least its summer here in Spain. Shorts and T’s!


  1. Max Gross

    At least turbulance (sic) got sorted out farther down.

    • 2paxfly

      Thanks for that. I do get my ‘ance’ and ‘ence’ mixed up. I’ve fixed the headline. Truth be told, I’m an appalling speller and rely on spellcheck and its equivalents.


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