SYDNEY, AAP – Travellers are again facing long queues at Sydney Airport’s domestic terminal with staff shortages and school holidays combining to hold up ‘out-of-practice’ passengers.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says delays at Sydney Airport which began last week, are in part because up to half the workforce is isolating due to COVID-19.

“We’re getting absenteeism of around 20 per cent, maybe some days in some areas up to 50 per cent, and that means that we can’t open up all the security lanes,” he told ABC TV on Monday.

“I want to apologise to all of our passengers – on behalf of the airports who do the security, on behalf of the airlines to having to deal with this,” he said.

The decision to scrap the isolation requirement for airport workers who are close contacts made by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard will help to ease staff shortages, he said.


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“We’re also seeing that passengers are rusty in travelling as well.

“You know, it’s happening to all of us.

“I just came back from a trip from the United States. I left my passport in my hotel safe,” he said.

He urged passengers to be patient, saying staff were working well in tough circumstances.

There were delays in both domestic terminals on Monday morning however the backlog of passengers was starting to clear about 8.30am, a spokesperson for Sydney Airport told AAP.

“There is some delays at some airline check in desks, but they’re getting through those (lines) and getting people to those security check in points.”

Traffic in the Sydney Airport precinct was easing after congestion earlier on Monday, he said.

“We have seen congestion in the terminals – but from all reports it’s flowing better now.”

The airport is expected to remain busy throughout the upcoming Easter long weekend and Anzac Day weekend, and domestic travellers are advised to arrive two hours early.