5 Mar 2005

Air New Zealand jumbo heading to Cooks to clear cyclone backlog

10:40 am on 5 March 2005

An Air New Zealand jumbo jet is expected to arrive in the Cook Islands this lunchtime to collect hundreds of passengers who'd been held up by Cyclone Percy.

A company spokesperson, Mike Tod, says the 747 left Auckland for Rarotonga this morning to collect 300 passengers who'd been held up by the storm, the fourth to sweep into the Cook Islands in as many weeks.

Cyclone Percy is now rapidly weaking south of Rarotonga, and there have been no reports of damage but heavy sea swells threw up boulders on parts of the shoreline.