Friday, February 17, 2023

After doing a U-turn from Auckland to New York, passengers board a 16-hour trip to nowhere

Passengers take 16-hour flight to nowhere after Auckland to New York U-turn

 In New York: On Thursday evening, passengers boarding a trans-Pacific flight from Auckland to New York had no idea what they were in for: a 16-hour ordeal that brought them back to the beginning.

At least 135 flights into and out of the city were disrupted when a power outage prevented Air New Zealand Ltd. Flight NZ2 from landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 1 at 5:40 p.m. local time.

The Boeing 787 was about halfway through its nearly 9,000-mile (14,000-kilometer) journey over the Pacific Ocean, just south of Hawaii, according to Flightradar24's data. The jet became the top-tracked flight on the website, which monitors aircraft worldwide in real time, after the turn.

Air New Zealand stated in a statement, "Due to an electrical fire in Terminal 1 at JFK Airport and the subsequent closure of the terminal, NZ2 Auckland to New York was forced to divert back to Auckland."

"Diverting to another US port would have necessitated that the aircraft remain on the ground for several days, affecting a number of other scheduled services and customers," the statement reads. The airline stated that it was working to rebook passengers on the next flights that were available.

The change echoed a similar incident that occurred in January, when an Emirates flight from Dubai to Auckland diverted due to flooding at its destination, resulting in a 13-hour flight to nowhere for passengers. Air New Zealand launched a significant effort to bring back more than 9,000 customers who had been stranded overseas following the closure of Auckland Airport, the largest airport in New Zealand.

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