Bushfires shut Australia's Newcastle airport for second time in 24 hours

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The airport for the Australian city of Newcastle has canceled flights for the second time in 24 hours because of bushfires in the area, operator Newcastle Airport said on its Facebook page on Sunday.

The airport, located just outside of the city in the town of Port Stephens, is scheduled the reopen on Monday, Newcastle Airport said, while urging passengers to check with airlines regarding the status of their flights.

The shutdown affected Jetstar Australia and Virgin Australia along with regional airlines Regional Express and FlyPelican.

The airport closed on Saturday as well because of thick smoke.

Strong winds fanned the flames on Sunday afternoon prompting the New South Wales Rural Fire Service to issue emergency warnings on Twitter for residents to seek shelter as spot fires flared to the north of the airport’s runway.

Newcastle Airport, Australia’s 12th busiest airport, handled 1.26 million passengers in the year ending June 30 2017, it says on its website.

Reporting by Alison Bevege; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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