31 Dec 2023

Flights from Wellington Airport disrupted due to strong winds

6:38 pm on 31 December 2023
Queues at Wellington Airport after flights were cancelled due to high winds on 31 December 2023.

Queues at Wellington Airport after flights were cancelled. Photo: RNZ / Krystal Gibbens

Most flights have been able to land at Wellington Airport this afternoon and evening, after delays and cancellations earlier in the day.

Strong winds caused about 30 domestic jet services to be cancelled - the last at around 2:30pm this afternoon.

Wellington Airport said international flights from Fiji and the Gold Coast have also been able to land.

MetService said winds in the central city, harbour and south coast gusted to 120 kilometres an hour at times today and got to 130 kilometres at Mt Kaukau.

The wind reached around 105 kilometres at the airport but is slowly dying down.

Passengers have been advised to check their flight status with their airlines.

Air New Zealand customer and sales manager Scott Carr earlier said at least 20 Air New Zealand flights in and out of the capital had been cancelled.

Four flights were diverted including, three flights which were forced to return to Auckland and Christchurch and a flight from Nelson which was diverted to Palmerston North.

"Our teams are monitoring the conditions closely and working hard to get people where they need to be today," Carr said.

"Customers booked to travel are advised to keep an eye on our website for up-to-date travel information."

The MetService has issued a strong wind warnings for Wellington until 4pm on Sunday, forecasting gale north westerlies gusting 120km/h in exposed places.

Orange weather warnings are currently in place for the Marlborough Sounds, Wellington, Wairarapa extending south of Greytown and parts of Canterbury.

The unsettled conditions are set to put a dampener on New Year celebrations across some parts of the country.

MetService said a heavy band of rain with possible thunderstorms and lightning is forecast to sweep through between 6pm to 9.30pm, when events were due to take place at five locations.

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