New Zealand-bound plane flies 13 hours only to land back in Dubai after Auckland floods close airport | World News
Passengers bound for New Zealand endured a 13-hour flight to nowhere after the plane they were on was forced to return to Dubai when Auckland Airport closed due to flooding.
Emirates flight EK448 had to turn around midway after heavy rain and flooding in Auckland meant that the airport had to close.
The flight departed from Dubai Friday just before 11 am (local time) and was halfway through the 9,000-mile journey when he had to return to United Arab Emirates.
On Friday, Auckland Airport was closed to all international and domestic flights and more than 2,000 passengers were forced to stay overnight in the terminals.
Video from the airport shows people wading through knee-deep water inside the terminal building.
Oakland Airport has apologized to passengers affected by the closure.
In a statement on Saturday, airport chief executive Carrie Hurihanganui said it had been a “really long and challenging night.”
“Our teams and those of our airport partners continue to work around the clock to make sure we can safely reopen our domestic and international terminals as soon as possible,” she said.
The airport was reopened to domestic flights on Saturday lunchtime and international flights on Sunday morning.
US travelers bound for New Zealand also ended up where they started when a flight from Dallas Fort Worth to Auckland was scheduled to return to Texas after 10 hours in the air.
A state of emergency was declared in Oakland on Friday, when the city was Struck down by the whole summer rain for one day.
Four people died as a result of the hurricane, which caused widespread flooding and landslides, as well as road closures, power outages and a train derailment.
Heavy rain is forecast to continue early this week, and Auckland Airport has warned of further flight disruptions.