Christmas Eve chaos as dozens of flights cancelled last minute

Dozens of flights across the country have been cancelled at the last minute, causing chaos for thousands of people trying to get away for Christmas.

Popular Jetstar and Virgin Australia routes between Queensland, Victoria, NSW and South Australia have been affected.

It’s understood some passengers were only told about the cancellations late last night, leaving many interstate travellers in limbo.


Both airlines have released statements, blaming the last-minute flight cancellations on staff shortages caused by COVID-19.

“Unfortunately like many people in Sydney and Melbourne, a large number of our frontline team are being requested to get tested and isolate as close contacts given the increasing number of cases in the general community,” A Jetstar spokesperson said.

“As a result, we have had to make some late adjustments to our schedule.

“We appreciate the frustration this causes, especially as customers are travelling for Christmas, and sincerely apologise for the impact these changes are having on travel plans.

“We are working to minimise any delays and re-accommodating passengers on flights as close as possible to their original departure times across both Jetstar and Qantas services.”

Meantime, Virgin has reassured customers that “no guests will be stranded for Christmas”.

“Virgin Australia customers who were impacted by a schedule change were moved onto an alternate same day service and advised in advance of their travel date,” the spokesperson said.

“No guests are arriving at the airport today will be stranded for Christmas.

“We understand that the Brisbane Airport departure board is displaying flights that were previously scheduled to depart today, however were subject to schedule changes in the lead up to today.”