Airlines cancelled flights to regional towns on Tuesday, including to fire-ravaged areas on the NSW South Coast, due to bushfire smoke making it too dangerous to fly.
Qantas and Virgin Australia cancelled one return service each between Sydney and Albury on the NSW-Victoria border because of reduced pilot visibility.
Regional Express (Rex) cancelled all flights to Cooma in southern NSW on Tuesday, and was struggling to operate into Merimbula and Moruya on the NSW South Coast.
None of the three flights from Sydney to Merimbula were able to operate on Tuesday, with two flights taking off but forced to turn back to Sydney when they missed runway approaches due to low visibility.
One of the three scheduled flights to Merimbula from Melbourne was able to land, while one Sydney to Moruya flight was able to operate.
Rex’s general manager of network strategy Warrick Lodge said the airline had scheduled additional services on Wednesday to try and clear the backlog of passengers.
He said that included holidaymakers needing to be evacuated and specialists workers including doctors and emergency services workers who wanted to get into the fire-ravaged area on the NSW South Coast.
“So it’s quite important to get the air services back up and running but the thick smoke at the airports is the major limitation at the moment,” Mr Lodge said.
Several flights in and out of Canberra Airport were cancelled on Sunday due to bushfire smoke obstructing visibility.
Canberra has reported some of the worst air quality in the world in recent weeks as smoke from bushfires shroud the nation’s capital.
Source: Thanks smh.com