Cairns Airport, Townsville Airport, Mount Isa Airport: all open after Cyclone Yasi, flights scheduled to run

By John Walton, February 4 2011
Cairns Airport, Townsville Airport, Mount Isa Airport: all open after Cyclone Yasi, flights scheduled to run

Having escaped the worst of Tropical Cyclone Yasi, the major North Queensland airports are starting to return to normal service, with airlines planning to operate most flights today.

Business travellers should double check with their airline before heading to the airport, though -- with military, defence and relief flights all converging on the area's airports, delays are likely and diversions possible.

Cairns Airport

Having cleaned up after Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Cairns Airport is now open. A statement on the airport's website says: "airlines expect to have full schedules operating," and directs travellers to contact their airline for final confirmation.

Townsville Airport

The airport, co-located with RAAF Base Townsville, re-opened Thursday morning for military aircraft only, and as of this morning is now open to flights.

Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill said:"Townsville Airport did suffer some damage, in particular with foliage debris littering much of the access roads and car parks. This has been cleaned up overnight but visitors to the region will see the impacts of the storm."

Travellers should note that Qantas has not yet announced when flights to Townsville will resume.

Mount Isa Airport

The mining hub's airport remains open, although there are delays. Airport representatives told us: "There is currently some low cloud cover over the airport which may create some delays this morning.  Some flights were cancelled yesterday but schedules are again expected to gradually return to normal over the coming days."


All the major airlines have resumed flights to Cairns, and many are planning to fly to Townsville on Friday as well.

All passengers should double-check with their airline, though, especially those flying to Townsville Airport, which has not officially re-opened.

Air New Zealand

An Air NZ spokeswoman told us they are "planning on running services today subject to weather and airport conditions", and will use a larger 767 aircraft to accommodate affected customers.

Cathay Pacific

The "triangle" Hong Kong-Brisbane-Cairns-Hong Kong flight is due to operate as normal on Friday, the airline reports. 


Flights to Mackay resumed yesterday, and Jetstar plans to fly to Cairns, Hamilton Island, Proserpine and Townsville, subject to airport conditions. 


The airline announced that its flights to Cairns will resume today, Friday, but Townsville services have not yet restarted. 

Virgin Blue

Normal timetables will resume today to Cairns, Townsville, Hamilton Island and Proserpine.

Further updates

Most airlines have waived their usual fees for changing flights for travellers affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasi. We've contacted all the major airlines and have a full roundup of their policies, with dates and the relevant terms and conditions

Business travellers overseas who are concerned about the situation back in Queensland can watch ABC News 24 streaming video online since ABC has lifted the "geoblock" preventing computers abroad from watching the news channel. 

After the geoblock is put back in place, our guide on how to watch Australian TV while overseas shows you how to get around the restriction using a VPN (virtual private network).

Australian Business Traveller will continue updating our news with specifics for the business traveller community at and on Twitter: @AusBT

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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