The airline confirmed to Yahoo News Australia several planes would remain on the tarmac for Christmas Eve, dashing holiday plans for possibly hundreds of Aussies.
“Unfortunately like many people in Sydney and Melbourne, a large number of our frontline team are being required to test and isolate as close contacts given the increasing number of cases in the general community, and as a result we have had to make some late adjustments to our schedule,” a Jetstar spokesperson said.
“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 reaccommodating passengers on flights as close as possible to their original departure times across both Jetstar and Qantas services.”
It is not known how many staff or passengers have been affected.
Qantas told Yahoo News Australia they had not had to cancel any flights because of staffing shortages.
Furious travellers have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations about having their flight cancelled last minute.
“Thanks for ruining Christmas Eve Jetstar Airways every flight out of Victoria cancelled until tomorrow morning,” one man said on Friday.
A woman said she received a text message at 9pm saying her 6am flight for Melbourne had been cancelled.
“This experience was not satisfactory as it doesn’t meet my requirement to be in MLB tomorrow. I ended up booking a Virgin flight instead,” she wrote to Jetstar Airways.
Another person who said they were at Melbourne airport on Thursday noted how quiet it was for such a busy time of year.
“Anyone else travelling Christmas eve? Never seen airport so quiet for such a busy time of the year,” they wrote.
“In Melbourne at the moment. The number of people coughing I can count on both hands. Those with the virus clearly are going about their daily lived and not staying at home."
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