All flights in and out of Wellington were halted on Thursday due to high winds.
All flights in and out of Wellington have been cancelled until further notice due to severe gales across the city.
An airport spokesperson confirmed the situation, saying “high winds are making it unsafe for baggage handlers to operate”.
“Passengers are advised to check directly with their airlines for further information,” the spokesperson said.
A Stuff reporter at Wellington Airport said “around 100 passengers” were seen lining up at Air New Zealand’s check-in counters following the flight cancellations.
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MetService has issued a heavy rain warning for the capital lasting from 9am until 6pm on Thursday.
“Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous,” MetService said.
A Jetstar flight from Queenstown attempted to land in Wellington about midday, but missed its approach.
Flight tracking websites showed it diverting to Auckland.
An Air New Zealand flight from Brisbane also tried to land amid the windy weather at 2.30pm.
The flight was the most tracked across the world on Thursday afternoon, with more than 1400 people glued to its flight path.
The flight appeared to have changed path to Christchurch.
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In Wellington on Thursday, Dayna Giles was anxiously waiting for the next available Air New Zealand flight so her 7-year-old son, who was flying as an unaccompanied minor, could arrive from Hamilton.
Strong winds are expected up the eastern coast of both islands, while heavy snow is likely for parts of Canterbury, the Remutaka Rd and the Desert Rd.
“It’s challenging when the flights get cancelled because I’m working and planning around his flight coming in is inconvenient. He’s only 7 and his aunty and uncle who he is staying with have work and a life too,” she said.
“I don’t want to put them out of their way. The plan is if the flights remain cancelled I will drive to Hamilton and pick him up.”
Lydia Gardiner and Sonata Saaveela were waiting for their Qantas flight to Sydney, which had already been delayed for 45 minutes.
They hoped it wouldn’t be delayed for a second time or even cancelled because they had family waiting in Australia.
Travellers trying to cross the Cook Strait on Thursday might also find it difficult. Most Interislander sailings have been cancelled after predictions of large swells.
“In total six sailings have been cancelled, including all Aratere passenger sailings in both directions, and the 2:15 pm Kaitaki (Picton to Wellington) and 8:30 pm Kaitaki (Wellington to Picton) sailings,” spokesperson Walter Rushbrook said.
Four Bluebridge trips from Picton and Wellington had also been cancelled.
As of 11.30am, more than 25 flights set to travel in and out of Auckland on Thursday were shown as ‘cancelled’ on the flight board.
Many of these flights were not Wellington-bound.
Christchurch, Tauranga, Nelson, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Blenheim, Whitianga and the Bay of Islands were also affected.
This comes after weeks of flight cancellations and delays across New Zealand, which left travellers stranded and caused holiday chaos.
Air New Zealand’s chief executive Greg Foran previously said this was the busiest period for the airline in two years.
A combination of wild weather, staff sickness and high school holiday demand had caused disruptions across the country.