With Australian school holidays coming to an end, Qantas has told passengers to expect more flight delays and cancellations.

Qantas – who own budget airline Jetstar – has said between the two brands they have 350,000 flying to Australia over the next four days. Just last week, only 85% of their domestic flights departed within an hour of their scheduled time.

“Our on-time performance isn’t where it needs to be, but we’re continuing to make changes,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The spokesperson chalked the delays and cancellations down to severe weather in NSW and a spike in COVID and flu cases, and said that sick leave from staff is expected to continue over the coming days.

“We thank customers for their patience during what is traditionally a very busy time and thank our people for their hard work over these school holidays and beyond,” a Qantas spokesman said.

Last week a series of Jetstar flights from Perth to Bali were cancelled for multiple days in a row.

The first flight from Perth to Denpasar airport was set to leave at 6:50am on Sunday, 3rd of July, but passengers were notified of the cancellation just hours before departure. Jetstar cited “operational reasons”.

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The same PER-DPS route was cancelled on Monday and Tuesday morning, too. The flight that was scheduled to leave Perth for Bali at 6:50am on Wednesday, 6th of July was delayed significantly.

And, the flight cancellations connected to the Indonesian island weren’t the only problem at Perth airport. Last week, every single one of the 18,000 parking bays available to book at the WA airport were full, with an airport representative telling travellers to catch a taxi.

“A surge in demand means that no further online bookings will be available for bookings starting in the next 72 hours,” the airport spokesperson said at the time.

“Passengers are advised to plan in advance and book parking online at least a week prior to their trip to secure a parking bay and to access the best available rate.

“Those travelling in the next few days should consider taxi or ride share options to get to the airport.”

The “unprecedented demand” was attributed to a combination of upset passengers being bumped to other flights to Bali, school holidays and copious FIFO-related bookings.

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