Passengers fly for 13 hours only to end up back at starting point

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The Emirates flight from Dubai to New Zealand flew 9,000 miles. However, the aircraft was forced to return to its starting point halfway on its route when Auckland Airport closed due to widespread flooding. It comes after a whole summer’s worth of rain fell there in a single day, killing four people.

Passengers on an aircraft endured a 13-hour ride to nowhere, landing at the same airport from which they had taken off.

On Friday, an Emirates flight from Dubai headed to New Zealand and flew 9,000 miles.

However, the aircraft was forced to return to Dubai halfway through its route when Auckland Airport closed after widespread flooding.

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All domestic and foreign flights were cancelled as a result of safety concerns.

Passengers from Texas in the US had to return after 10 hours in the air, too.

Around 2,000 travellers were forced to spend the night stranded at Auckland Airport.

In several terminal buildings, the water was knee-deep, and video footage showed people wading through it.

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After the city declared a state of emergency, at least 5,000 homes and businesses were checked for flood and landslide damage.

It had been a “very long and arduous night,” Auckland Airport officials told passengers whose flights had been affected.

The airport reopened for domestic flights on Saturday at noon and for international flights on Sunday morning.

With 80mm of rain and strong gusts expected for the night, additional severe weather warnings are already in effect for the city.


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Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown has warned that 120mm of rain might fall on already flooded neighbourhoods.

He said: “That’s nothing like Friday night, but the ground is so saturated and the drains are so full that if anything, it could be more dangerous than even Friday,

“My team’s current focus and our big worry is that some Aucklanders might think the worse is behind us, but it isn’t.”

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