Gold Coast flights cancelled as tornadoes hit state

FLIGHTS to and from the Gold Coast have been cancelled as ex-tropical cyclone Oswald continues to cause havoc in central Queensland.

Mini tornadoes have hit communities east of Bundaberg in Queensland, as the state is battered by severe weather and flooding, caused by the remnants of cyclone Oswald.

Virgin Australia and Qantas have been forced to shelve dozens of flights on Sunday, affecting thousands of passengers.

Virgin also cancelled 12 scheduled flights on Australia Day, advising it would endeavour to contact affected passengers via text message so they can make alternative arrangements.

It has also recommended passengers regularly check its website for updates. It warned further disruptions could occur.

Qantas tweeted that a number of services are likely to be affected until Monday and recommended customers re-book either at another time or to a different destination.

Both companies have advised passengers can make alternative arrangements without penalty.

A spokeswoman for Tiger Airlines said there were no cancellations.

Jetstar did not announce any disruptions at the time of going to print.

The remnants of cyclone Oswald have has affected hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders, causing flooding up to half a metre and strong winds in several towns. Brisbane has been put on alert.