Flight-delay mayhem as Melbourne Airport beset by fog

Joggers hit the road on a chilly and foggy Melbourne morning.
Joggers hit the road on a chilly and foggy Melbourne morning.  Photo: Eddie Jim

The sun finally broke through after a morning of mayhem at Tullamarine Airport on Tuesday, as thousands of passengers had their flights delayed, diverted and cancelled due to Melbourne's unseasonable fog.

Virgin Australia reported operations resumed as normal by early Tuesday afternoon, yet a Qantas spokeswoman said two flights between Melbourne and Sydney would still be cancelled on Tuesday evening. 

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the airline cancelled two flights on its domestic service. 

Fog descended on Melbourne on Tuesday morning.
Fog descended on Melbourne on Tuesday morning.  Photo: Eddie Jim

The spokeswoman said passengers were to be moved onto flights close to the time of their scheduled flight.

"There were some delays this morning to some of our domestic services but schedules have been running as normal since early this afternoon," she said.

A Virgin Australia spokeswoman said the fog had mostly cleared by 9.30am, yet cancellations included 15 return flights across its domestic service on Tuesday morning.

Passengers who had their flights cancelled were moved to alternate flights, but by midday, flights were departing on schedule.

"Virgin Australia sent proactive SMS notifications to all customers flying encouraging them to keep an eye on the flight status page for the latest information," she said. "For guests impacted by the cancellations, we endeavoured to reaccommodate them on the next available service."

Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said while the fog had disappeared, it was crucial that passengers expect ongoing problems and check their airline's flight schedule. 

Scott Williams, senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, said the that while Melbourne's city centre had been cleared of fog since mid-afternoon, the north eastern suburbs still had considerable coverage. 

He warned extensive fog would return to Melbourne on Tuesday night, but forecasted a clearer day on Wednesday, with slight fog at 9am.

"There is still a lot of fog overnight and for the first part of tomorrow morning."

The Bureau predicts Melbourne's temperature will drop to a minimum of four degrees on Tuesday night.

A spokesman said that it may only reach five or six degrees if the fog rolled in early in the night, acting as a blanket over the city.

It is expected to be a minimum of four degrees on Wednesday morning, with the mecury reaching a maximum of 13 degrees in the middle of the afternoon, he said.

with Deborah Gough, Jane Lee

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