Air New Zealand Moves To Get Stranded Passengers Home

A Singapore Airlines A380 touches down.
Photo Credit: Charlie Carter/AviationSource
Tomos Howells - Chief Executive Officer 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

LONDON – Following torrential flooding just 5 days ago in Auckland, the national carrier Air New Zealand is now working overtime to return an estimated 9,000 stranded passengers back home, after hundreds of flights were cancelled.

Singapore Airlines Deploy A380 To Assist


On January 27, unseasonably large amounts of rainfall caused major flooding across Auckland, with flash floods bringing chaos for the travel sector, with roads being blocked and even Auckland International Airport being forced to close, as terminal buildings were flooded.

Read more: Auckland Airport Closes during Torrential flooding

In an article published by the nzherald, it is stated that around 9,000 passengers are believed to be in need of new flights to bring them home, with this just accounting for Air New Zealand’s passengers.

The news outlet goes on to report that Singapore Airlines worked closely alongside Air New Zealand, agreeing under the request of the airline to upgrade the SQ285 flight from its regular Boeing 777 service, to an A380.

Flight tracking information for SQ285 shows the deployment of the A380 provided by Radarbox.com

It is understood that the A380 allowed for an additional 200 passengers to be brought back to Auckland on the service. However, the airline did stress to passengers that they should expect delays still with baggage as some systems have still not fully recovered from last week’s flooding.

Lots Of Work Ahead


Air New Zealand’s chief of customer and sales, Leanne Geraghty, speaking to the nzherald, said: “We also know there will be some customers whose rebooked flight is further out than they would have hoped.”

“Our next phase of recovery is to work through our schedule and see how we can get them home on earlier services, where possible,”

“We’re pulling all available levers to get customers on services as soon as possible. This includes working with alliance partners for them to use larger aircraft where possible and reworking our schedule to see where extra capacity can be added.”

There have been reports by multiple outlets that suggest the airline is also working to rebook its passengers stuck in Fiji and Japan, with an estimated 1200 passengers in need of a reparation flight back home.

Air New Zealand confirmed that it would also be waiving all rebooking fees for passengers whose flights were affected by the floods between the 27 and 30 January, as long as they book their new flights before February 28.

With forecasts for thunderstorms and more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday this week, it is likely that both the airport and all airlines will be looking closely at the best plan of action to ensure there is no more major disruption due to the weather.

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