Auckland: Passengers take 16-hour flight to nowhere after Auckland to New York U-turn

NEW YORK: Passengers boarding a trans-Pacific flight from Auckland to New York on Thursday evening had no idea of the rude awakening that awaited them: a 16-hour ordeal that saw them back at square one.
Air New Zealand Ltd Flight NZ2 should have touched down at John F Kennedy International Airport Terminal 1 at 5:40pm local time, but a power outage threw operations into disarray, affecting at least 135 flights into and out of the city.
Data from Flightradar24’s website showed the Boeing 787 jet making a u-turn about halfway into its nearly 9,000-mile (14,000 kilometer) journey over the Pacific Ocean, just south of Hawaii. The turnaround made the jet the top-tracked flight on the site, which monitors aircraft all over the world in real time.
“Due to an electrical fire in Terminal 1 at JFK Airport and the terminal’s subsequent closure, NZ2 Auckland to New York was forced to divert back to Auckland,” Air New Zealand said in a statement.
“Diverting to another US port would have meant the aircraft would remain on the ground for several days, impacting a number of other scheduled services and customers.” The carrier said the company was working to rebook passengers on the next available flights.
The turnaround echoed a similar incident in January, when an Emirates flight from Dubai to Auckland turned back due to flooding at its destination, treating passengers to a 13-hour flight to nowhere. The closure of Auckland airport, New Zealand’s biggest, sparked a major operation by Air New Zealand to bring back over 9,000 customers trapped overseas.

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