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 canceled 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 canceled 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 within the country.
The carrier said it plans to resume scheduled services from tomorrow, but expects further challenges due to the extreme weather.
“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,” said a statement.
Air New Zealand customers are advised to change their flight date or opt to receive a voucher for airline credit, which can be done on the airline’s app.