Jetstar cancellation causes problems for passengers

A FAMILY of four missed a cruise, two people missed a state training awards night and an artist missed the opening of a prestigious sculpture prize when Jetstar cancelled its 9am flight out of Ballina last Friday.

Passengers received word that the flight was cancelled and many were moved on to the noon flight.

But as that plane was taxiing out of the airport, it was forced to return because of engineering problems.

One passenger, who did not want to be named, said it was "chaos".

"There was a lot of confusion; people didn't know what was going on," she said.

Lennox Head artist Amanda Bromfield was on her way to Sydney for the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, but she missed the opening night.

The prize attracts more than 500 artists from all over the world.

Only 40 are chosen to be part of the exhibition, so when Ms Bromfield was named as one of those talented sculptors, she was over the moon.

"It is a big deal," she said.

"I was looking forward to getting to the opening night and meeting some important people in the art world."

Passengers affected by the Jetstar cancellations have not blamed the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport - in fact, many are keen to support the local airport because of its ease and convenience.

A Jetstar spokesman denied that flight cancellations and delays were common at Ballina.

He said only eight flights had been cancelled between April and September, and one was cancelled this month.

"The cancellation rate is 0.85%, and the industry average is 1.7%, so we are well below that," he said.

"Obviously every cancellation is regrettable. But there's not much that we can do in the case of engineering requirements.

"We work really hard to ensure our customers get to their destinations as quickly as possible."



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