BRISBANE, AAP – Australian banks and other businesses including Australia Post and Virgin Australia have been hit by a major telecommunications outage.

Westpac Bank, the Commonwealth Bank, St George Bank and the Reserve Bank of Australia were among those affected.

ANZ was also offline for about half an hour but has told AAP its services are now available after it worked around the problem.

About 45 minutes after the Commonwealth Bank tweeted an apology to customers it said services were coming back.

“We are starting to see services return to normal following a tech outage that had widespread impact across businesses. Thank you for your patience,” it tweeted on Thursday afternoon.

Customers reported being unable to access services online and through apps.

AAP understands the problems relate to service provider Akamai, which provides digital services to some of the world’s biggest companies. Comment has been sought from the company.

Downdetector, which tracks outage information in real time, at one point listed almost 50 entities experiencing problems.

Australia Post tweeted that an “external outage” was affecting a number of its services but by late in the afternoon they were mostly back online.

Virgin Australia said it had a system outage affecting its website and guest contact centre, but the website is now back and no flights have been affected.

“All Virgin Australia services are currently operating as normal,” a spokesman told AAP.

The websites of major US airlines American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines also faced outages on Thursday, Downdetector said.