Christchurch airport reopens

6:58 pm on 23 December 2011

Christchurch International Airport has reopened and Air New Zealand is resuming services to and from the city.

In addition to scheduled flights, two A320 services that were diverted to Dunedin and Wellington while Christchurch Airport was closed will now fly to Christchurch.

Air New Zealand will also operate an additional 737-300 service from Auckland to Christchurch and return in order to assist disrupted passengers.

Christchurch airport was closed for about three hours as staff checked the terminal building and runways for damage after the swarm of earthquakes that struck to region on Friday afternoon.

The closure caused big problems nationally, particularly in Wellington, which received most of the diverted planes.

There were dozens of delays and cancellations, among them four international flights.

Wellington airport's acting chief executive John Howarth says there is a fair amount of disruption and international passengers will stay in Wellignton overnight Friday.

Passenger recalls moment quake struck

Hamish Rutherford had just landed after a flight from Wellington when the quake struck.

He told Radio New Zealand News the quake rocked the building violently from side to side and it felt as though he was on a boat.

Mr Rutherford says people became quite concerned as the quake became progressively stronger.