Domestic flights have been suspended again at Auckland Airport after continued disruption caused by high winds.
And while international Air NZ flights remain scheduled to operate, ground handling services (baggage loading/unloading) were at 4.15pm on hold for all airlines due to high winds.
Passengers have battled queues and long waits after some flights resumed earlier today, following a 24-hour pause on Monday in the path of Cyclone Gabrielle.
The airport company said at 3.45pm today that “ground handling operations have needed to pause due to wind speed on the airfield, and the need to protect the safety of airport workers.”
Air New Zealand announced it had cancelled all domestic flights in and out of Auckland for the rest of the day, in a move that is expected to affect about 55 flights.
Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and safety officer Captain David Morgan said the strength and direction of winds at Auckland Airport were making it challenging to service aircraft, and it would be unsafe for staff “to continue to operate in these conditions”.
Air NZ is still planning to operate international flights at this stage – even though they are currently suspended.
“These are able to operate because the international terminal is more sheltered from winds, however, the airline will be monitoring wind gusts closely and will reassess if conditions change,” said Morgan.
“With forecast strong winds for the remainder of the day, customers are warned to expect ongoing disruption and delays. Although Air New Zealand plans to resume scheduled services from tomorrow, there will be challenges.
“Today’s disruptions mean tomorrow will begin without all aircraft and crew in the locations required. We can also expect ongoing weather challenges, so we’re asking customers to please bear with us – our people are doing everything they can. Customers