6 Jul 2012

Airlines clearing backlog after fog delay

11:20 pm on 6 July 2012

Heavy fog that disrupted travel plans of hundreds of air passengers has cleared in Auckland and other parts of the country on Friday afternoon.

Airlines are working to clear a backlog of passengers after the murky weather caused flight delays and cancellations for a second day.

Auckland Airport says 41 domestic flights have been cancelled and 66 delayed on Friday. Most flights are back on schedule, but a few regional flights are still delayed.

Fog also affected airports at other major cities including Hamilton, Dunedin and Christchurch, with a number of flights cancelled or delayed.

Christchurch Airport says the fog lifted on Friday afternoon and airlines are resuming normal operations.

Air New Zealand says about 27 of its flights have been cancelled and it has put on extra flights, where possible on Friday to help clear the backlog.

On Thursday, more than 50 flights to or from Auckland Airport were cancelled and some 30 delayed due to fog.

Some stranded passengers had to stay at the airport overnight and hundreds queued at the domestic terminal on Friday to try to rebook flights.

Phil Shanks flew in from Melbourne on Thursday and was scheduled to go on to Gisborne, but slept at the airport in an attempt to an early morning flight.

Passenger Joanna White, who was heading to Palmerston North, said her flight was cancelled on Thursday and she had been re-booked three times.

She was to fly to Wellington on Friday afternoon and find her own way to her destination. Ms White said having to pay for an extra night at a hotel made it a costly exercise.