Air NZ cancels all Auckland domestic flights for the rest of the day, airport suspends operations

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

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Travellers describe ‘bumpy’ flights into Auckland as Cyclone Gabrielle lashes country

Passengers landing at Auckland Airport have endured a bumpy ride as Cyclone Gabrielle continues to lash the country.

Flights resumed at the airport on Tuesday after being halted on Monday due to the high winds and heavy rain lashing the region.

However, about 4pm, Air New Zealand said domestic flights had been halted again for the remainder of the day due to strong winds.

The airline’s international flights were still going ahead.

READ MORE:
* Air New Zealand halts flights again at Auckland Airport due to ‘strong gusts’
* Cyclone Gabrielle: What you need to know about travel on Tuesday
* Air New Zealand confirms Auckland flights will resume on Tuesday after Cyclone Gabrielle passes

Alison Rigby had flown from London through Dubai to get to Aotearoa for her niece’s wedding on Saturday.

However, she caught “the tail end of the cyclone” on Tuesday afternoon.

“We weren’t sure whether we were going to be able to land or whether we were going to have to head down to another airport, but thank goodness it was absolutely fine,” Rigby said.

Alison Rigby was relieved to arrive at Auckland Airport on Tuesday afternoon ahead of her nieces' wedding on Saturday.

CHRIS SKELTON/Stuff

Alison Rigby was relieved to arrive at Auckland Airport on Tuesday afternoon ahead of her nieces’ wedding on Saturday.

“The last flight that arrived couldn’t get their luggage off the plane and the next plane after us had the same because it was too windy.”

Rigby said she was “so grateful” to have got through but warned “it’s absolute chaos” at the arrivals terminal.

Przemyslaw and Anna made it to Tāmaki Makaurau from Poland after three flights and a five-hour delay.

”We just wanted to sleep. We were very tired,” Anna said.

Przemyslaw and Anna were looking forward to a sleep now they’d made it into New Zealand.

CHRIS SKELTON/Stuff

Przemyslaw and Anna were looking forward to a sleep now they’d made it into New Zealand.

”The last flight was a bit bumpy, especially

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Cyclone Gabrielle: High winds force suspension of ground-handling operations at Auckland; no international or domestic flights can depart

Chris Hipkins speaks on the National State of Emergency. Video / NZ Herald

High winds have forced the suspension of ground-handling operations at Auckland Airport from now until midnight, meaning no international or domestic passenger flights can depart or arrive until tomorrow.

Travellers with booked flights tonight were asked not to go to the airport and to contact their airline. Those already in check-in were asked to return home or to their accommodation.

The airport said some travellers arriving tonight will not be able to collect their checked bags as normal, because they cannot be returned to them safely Instead, travellers are asked to complete a form and report their missing bags in the baggage hall.

Airport officials said the organisation was “working with airline partners to support stranded passengers”.

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“Safety comes first at Auckland Airport and given current high winds and the need to ensure the safety of everyone working in and around the airport apron areas, ground-handling operators have decided to suspend operations for the rest of the night,” said Auckland Airport chief customer officer Scott Tasker in a statement at 6.45pm.

“These are the people who manage the baggage loading and unloading, airbridge connections, passenger embarking and disembarking, and aircraft refuelling and ground handling services – they need to be safe when they’re working on the airfield, and the airport system can’t operate without them.

“We apologise to travellers for the disruption, particularly those that have already experienced significant travel challenges over the past couple of weeks. The weather just hasn’t been on our side, but the safety of staff and passengers come first as we manage through the impacts of this severe weather event.”

Cargo flights, medical emergency flights and private charter flights can still arrive and depart.

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Cyclone Gabrielle: Flights through Auckland Airport suspended, 55 Air NZ domestic services cancelled

Cyclone Gabrielle: Fire and Emergency briefing at 7.30am; Auckland Emergency Management from 8am

* Cyclone Gabrielle: Follow our live updates

* Cyclone Gabrielle: All you need to know today

* Cyclone Gabrielle: When will the bad weather end in your region?

Flights through Auckland Airport

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Air New Zealand cancels all flights from Auckland Airport amid storms

Customers flying in and out of Auckland Airport will face disappointment today, as national carrier Air New Zealand cancels all flights from its North Island hub.

In a statement at 2pm local time on 13 February, the airlines said: “Further to our update at 1pm today, Air New Zealand wishes to advise that all domestic flights in and out of Auckland have been cancelled for the remainder of today (14 February). This is expected to affect around 55 flights.”

On Twitter, it confirmed at 5pm that all domestic and international flights were affected. “Due to the strength and direction of winds, all our domestic and international jet services in and out of our main hub @AKL_Airport have been suspended,” wrote social media staff.

The national carrier’s chief operational integrity and safety officer Captain David Morgan said that “the strength and direction of winds at Auckland Airport are making it challenging to service aircraft, and it would be unsafe for our people to continue to operate in these conditions”.

Auckland Airport has been beset by difficulties in recent weeks after extreme weather hit New Zealand.

On Sunday, the airline cancelled dozens of flights as Aucklanders braced for a deluge from Cyclone Gabrielle.

Two weeks earlier, over 9,000 Air New Zealand passengers found themselves stranded in various locations due to flight disruption caused by flooding in the city.

Eight North Island regions, including Auckland, announced states of emergency on Monday, with at least 30 severe weather warnings in place, as the island hunkered down in the face of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Auckland is seeing forecasts for strong winds for the remainder of 14 February, with customers warned to expect ongoing disruption and delays

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