Flight Center’s Graham Turner issues grim airport warning amid delays cancellations

The boss of travel company Flight Center has predicted more “pain” for domestic travelers, explaining airport chaos will continue for some time yet.

Flight Center’s Managing Director Graham Turner said travelers will need to exercise “patience” as airlines navigate inexperienced staff and absenteeism due to the latest COVID-19 wave.

Crowds at Sydney Airport.
Crowds at Sydney Airport have become a regular fixture as IT glitches, wild weather and COVID-19 staff shortages take its toll. (Louis Kennerley)

“It is a tough period,” Turner said, adding inexperienced staff are also contributing to the issues being felt.

“I will improve, but it is going to take some time.

“I would suggest six or eight weeks before all of this really settles down and there is going to be pain for domestic travellers in that time.

“Domestically, it will improve and we predict certainly by October/November, assuming the Omicron does settle down, it will be much better off, we think.”

Flight Center's Managing Director Graham Turner told Today domestic delays should improve by October, November.
Flight Center’s Managing Director Graham Turner told Today domestic delays should improve by October, November. (Today)

With borders now open, the state of Australia’s airports is garnering worldwide attention.

Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport has been ranked among the worst 10 airports for flight delays globally.

CNN used FlightAware data from May 26 to July 19 to determine 34.2 per cent of flights out of the facility were delayed over the survey period.

The worst 10 airports for flight delays around the world

This marked a decline of 24.6 per cent, compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said the number of passengers was creating issues within the facilty.

“The increasing demand for travel is encouraging but it’s clearly creating challenges for an industry that is still trying to rebuild operationally.

“With the June long weekend and school holiday peak behind us, we will continue to work on our operational recovery alongside our airline partners and each of the 800 organizations across the airport.”

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