The cell phones are out at Wellington Airport as disrupted passengers make alternative arrangements and inform friends and family they are stuck in the capital.
Air New Zealand has announced all domestic services have been cancelled until at least 12.30pm due to high winds which have grounded planes.
Passengers at the airport also claimed a Jetstar plane parked in the middle of a runway was causing flight delays and cancellations.
Flight JQ286 from Christchurch to Wellington this morning was unable to land on its first approach into Wellington due to high winds. On a second attempt the flight landed normally. However, a steering issue was noted while taxiing to the terminal.
A spokeperson for the airline said: “As a precautionary measure the pilot stopped the aircraft and it was towed to the gate for inspection. The inspection found no issues and the aircraft is due to resume flying.”
STUCK IN THE CAPITAL
Brisbane woman Lisa Cronin, part of a Top Deck tour around New Zealand, is part of a large group biding its time as it waits for updates on its delayed flight to Nelson. It is Cronin’s first visit to New Zealand, but she hasn’t let the Wellington wind dampen her spirits. Her flight was meant to depart at 10.15am.
“Im pretty content, I’m all right with it. It’s not New Zealand’s fault.”
The group will spend two days in Nelson and skydiving is on the agenda, should it make it down in time.
A Christchurch family visiting the capital will not be home until Friday night, with its 11am flight cancelled and nothing else available until 6pm Friday. The family of four, including two children, have been in the city since Monday and were considering indoor options for the next couple of days.
“You can’t do much about it. That’s the fun of it,” Leeanne Smith said.
Her husband John Smith agreed.
“We’re not going to swim across Cook Strait at the moment.”
Palmerston North mother Sarah Williams brought her two children, aged 4 and 6, to Wellington for the school holidays. Her 8.30am flight home was cancelled and she has arranged for a family member to drive down and pick the family up.
Qatar woman Maryam Mohammed, also visiting New Zealand for the first time with her parents, brother and sister, were meant to travel to Queenstown at 12.15pm but the flight will be cancelled.
“I’m a little nervous because we didn’t book any accommodation in Wellington or anything like that. We’ll stay in Wellington until the weather improves because we really want to see Queenstown.”
Rosaleen Anderson was meant to fly home to Nelson at 11.30am but now won’t leave until 7.30pm on Friday.
She and her sister Glenys Della Bosca were visiting Wellington for a few days.
For Anderson, the delay meant informing her neighbour she would have to look after her dog for a couple more days.
Having lived in north Queensland for 25 years, where she her experienced a number of cyclones, Anderson was happy to stay grounded.
“I don’t like flying in cyclonic weather. I’d far rather be safe.”
Anderson was retired but it was the first time she had visited the capital.
“Everybody’s been really great [about the delays] and I love Wellington.
“As I’m a senior, I don’t have to worry about getting back to work.”