Edited by Anoushka Sharma, NDTV
31st January 2023 – (Dubai) The passengers on an Emirates flight to New Zealand took off from Dubai on Friday morning. However, after flying for over 13 hours, the plane landed back at the same airport, in an unusual incident, according to a report in Fox News. Flight EK448 took off around 10.30am local time. The pilot made a U-turn just over halfway through the almost 9,000-mile trip, as per FlightAware. The plane eventually landed back in Dubai at around midnight on Saturday.
This was because of severe flooding at Auckland Airport which resulted in the closing down of the airport over the weekend.
Auckland Airport authorities took to Twitter and said that “it is extremely frustrating” but important with regards to the safety of the passengers. “Auckland Airport has been assessing the damage to our international terminal and unfortunately determined that no international flights can operate today. We know this is extremely frustrating but the safety of passengers is our top priority,” they said.
Furthermore, they said that no international departures could take place until 5am on 29th January. The airport authorities added, “No international passenger arrivals at Auckland Airport until 7am, Sunday 29th January.”
The Airport resumed operations on Sunday after it was left completely flooded as per videos circulated on social media. Incessant rainfalls led to flooding making the passengers wade through water at the airport.
According to the BBC, Auckland witnessed “its worst downpour on record” on Friday. The state of emergency continues in New Zealand’s largest city as it braces for more heavy rains this week. At least four people died in the severe flooding. Videos on social media show residents stuck in waist-deep water with rescue operations being conducted on kayaks.