21 May 2007

Air passengers heading for Niue after 2 day delay

10:52 am on 21 May 2007

More than seventy passengers who had hoped to arrive in Niue from Auckland on Saturday, are due to complete their trip tonight.

A special service is due to leave this evening after a flight was brought back to NZ via Tonga due to landing light problems at Niue.

The Herald on Sunday says the flight that normally takes three-and-a-half hours lasted for almost 10 and passengers had to wait two days for the next flight to Niue.

A technical malfunction with the approach lights at Niue's Hanan Airport forced the 737 plane to abandon its landing and then go into an hour-long holding pattern while engineers unsuccessfully tried to fix the problem.

The airline was chartered a flight over the weekend for technicians, as no one on Niue could make the repairs.

It is understood that one of the passengers was Niue's Immigration Minister, Fisa Pihigia, who had been in Wellington talking to officials about getting a second weekly flight to Niue.