New Zealand declares state of emergency, flights return

It is only the third time in the country's history it has declared a state of emergency, with Air New Zealand returning to the skies to help those who are stranded.

NEW Zealand has declared a national emergency, as Cyclone Gabrielle wreaks havoc on the country.

The declaration has been made for only the third time in New Zealand’s history, as the Cyclone causes widespread flooding, landslides, and huge ocean swells.

Despite the deceleration, Air New Zealand has restarted flights, supporting the state of emergency, but is warning passengers conditions remain difficult.

Flights to almost all destinations resumed yesterday morning; however, in the late afternoon Air NZ was forced to cancel the remainder of the day’s domestic services, before resuming them today.

High winds are challenging airport operations in some parts of the country, with ongoing disruption expected – yesterday’s cancellations meant crew shortages in some parts of New Zealand.

Air NZ is also adding extra flights, to get passengers home sooner, including 11 around the country.

Extra flights are being added to three other Pacific nations, with bigger aircraft on services to Fiji, Samoa, and French Polynesia.

Air NZ is also extending its international flexibility for passengers affected by Cyclone disruptions up to Friday.

The airline says almost 600 flights have been impacted due to the Cyclone, with around 35,000 passengers disrupted.

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