In the wake of a series of dramatic delays, Australia’s airlines have been hit with calls from concerned customers, who are increasingly demanding answers about why they were left in limbo.
The latest example came last week, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) issued a notice of cancellation of several flights between Melbourne and Canberra, due to a shortage of planes.
But this time, not all of the cancellations were due to the shortage of airliners, and the airline’s CEO, Alan Davidson, has denied that it was.
“We have cancelled all flights and the only reason we have cancelled is because of a shortage in available aircraft,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
However, a spokesperson for the company confirmed that its flight to Sydney was also affected, and that the airline was still working to make up for the shortfall.
Airlines are also now being asked to provide the names of all the passengers on their cancelled flights, to prove that they have a valid flight.
According to the ABC, the number of cancellations has increased by about 20 per cent since February.
Although the company has yet to give a breakdown of what caused the problems, the ABS notice says that “a significant increase in demand” has forced airlines to cancel flights between Australia and the United States, which have a combined population of over 200 million.
There are also reports of delays on flights from China to Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, where Chinese and Japanese airlines are already experiencing shortages of planes and fuel.
Many of these delays, and other cancellations, have been blamed on the lack of planes, not the airline itself.
Last year, a number of airlines had to cancel more than 60,000 flights in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in Sydney, and more than 100,000 in Australia’s first round of the Commonwealth Rugby Championship in November.
In January, the Federal Government announced plans to create a new Australian Airline Advisory Committee to advise the government on the future of the industry.
It is expected to make recommendations to the Government in 2018.
For now, though, the industry has been left without answers, as its customers are still waiting to receive the call that their flights have been cancelled.
Read more: Frequent flier to Australia?
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