High winds, cold front cause chaos at Sydney airport as dozens of flights cancelled

Pilots and ground staff have threatened budget airline Jetstar with Christmas strike action.

Pilots and ground staff have threatened budget airline Jetstar with Christmas strike action. Photo: AAP

Dozens of flights in and out of Sydney airport have been cancelled as strong and damaging winds batter Sydney and southern NSW.

Winds gusts of up to 70km/h at the airport and an impending cold front moving over eastern NSW on Saturday morning forced the major airlines to cancel flights.

Sydney Airport posted on Twitter just after 11am they were “experiencing delays” and for all passengers to check with their airlines for updates on flight departures and arrivals.

Qantas, Jetstar, Tigerair, Rex and Virgin all cancelled multiple flights into and out of the airport located in Mascot in the city’s south.

Virgin warned travellers the winds could result in some changes to flights.

“We’ll do everything to get you on your way as quickly & safely as possible,” the airline posted to Twitter.

“If you’re flying, be sure to keep an eye on your flight status.”

Domestic passengers were left waiting in terminals for up to three hours before flights could depart while travellers on several international flights experienced lesser waiting times of up to 1.5 hours.

However, the severe weather warning for damaging winds remains in place for Sydney, the Illawarra, Southern Tablelands, Snowy Mountains and south coast regions throughout Saturday.

The NSW weather bureau issued an alert at 7am on Saturday, with forecasts of a second cold front hitting parts of Sydney and southern NSW on Sunday, with blizzards in the alpine regions about 1600 metres.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service recommends that back country travel be postponed until conditions improve, the weather bureau said.

Meanwhile, strong winds lashed parts of the state earlier in the week, with Thredbo recording a peak wind gust of 115km/h on Thursday as storm fronts dumped more snow for school holiday skiers.

A peak wind gust of 96km/h also hit Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands on Thursday.

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