Nelson flights are back on schedule after a day of diversions due to fog, that saw one flight circling Nelson airport for two hours before landing in Wellington.
A Jetstar flight from Wellington circled Nelson in the air for two hours as fog closed the airport on Monday.
The flight left Wellington shortly at 3.54pm, and was scheduled to land in Nelson about 30 minutes later. The fog was too low for them to land.
At 6.30pm the flight was still in the air, but it turned back to Wellington. Up until that point, the pilot had been circling Nelson, hoping for the fog to clear.
Angela Bezett was travelling on the Jetstar flight to Nelson with her husband and three children.
She said the airline handled everything “very well”. “The weather didn’t want to play a part,” she said.
“They gave us accommodation in a hotel for the night and gave us dinner vouchers. The communications side of it was a bit hard … but we got there in the end.
“You can’t help what the weather is going to do. They couldn’t have done anything better really.”
After spending the night in Wellington they boarded a 6.45am flight to Nelson, via Auckland. She said the flight from Auckland left at 8.20am and “then finally home”.
“[We’re] pleased to get home and get to bed. It was just one of those things.”
A Jetstar NZ spokesman said 180 passengers were affected after on Monday the airline cancelled three flights on Monday and one on Tuesday morning as a result of fog in Nelson.
“Passengers have been transferred to the next available flight, or have the option of a voucher refund if the re-booked flight isn’t suitable.”
Flights were “back on track” today to and from Nelson, he said.
He said the pilots of the flight that circled Nelson for two hours hoped the fog would clear, as it had earlier in the day, and allow them to land.
“The flight returned to Wellington and passengers were re-booked on alternative services and provided with overnight accommodation where required.”
Jetstar flights weren’t the only ones affected with passengers also affected by cancelled flights and other flights diverted to Marlborough Airport.
The flight from Christchurch left at 3.10pm. When the plane arrived above Nelson the pilot told passengers they needed to circle the airport before landing, to monitor the weather.
The plane circled for about 30 minutes before it was diverted to Blenheim. It landed about 4.15pm where passengers were met with buses to ferry them down to Nelson Airport.
Josh Kernohan was a passenger on the flight. He said the bus trip took over two hours and he didn’t make it to Nelson until after 7pm.
Kernohan’s partner met him at Nelson Airport. “She wasn’t impressed at all.”
He said the airline did everything they could but he probably would not fly again.
“It was my first plane trip and I don’t think I’ll do it again.”
One passenger, who did not want to be named, was due to fly to Auckland from Nelson on a Jetstar flight so she could attend a funeral. She had travelled from Blenheim to catch the flight.
The flight, which was due to leave at 5.05pm, was cancelled. However when she contacted Jetstar she said she was told there had been no cancellations.
The woman said she had managed to get a seat on an Air New Zealand shuttle back to Blenheim.