9.50am update First international passenger flight takes off from Auckland Airport following deluge

29 January 2023

  • Jetstar flight JQ202 to Sydney departed just before 7am, the first international passenger flight out of Auckland Airport since the temporary closure
  • Air NZ flight NZ5 from LAX was the first to arrive at 7:20am, with 355 passengers
  • More than 1000 meals, 500 blankets and hundreds of water bottles and fruit given to passengers yesterday and last night, with families and elderly sleeping overnight at the Auckland Airport Marae, Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa
  • 1000+ travellers currently at the international terminal. International flight schedules will take some time to normalise

Wheels up on Jetstar flight JQ202 to Sydney this morning marked the return of international passenger travel at Auckland Airport after serious flooding impacted flight operations.

The flight, with 186 passengers onboard, headed across the Tasman just before 7am – not long after its scheduled departure time. It will be the first of 41 international flights to depart Auckland Airport today. JQ202 was shortly followed by the first arrival, the Air New Zealand flight NZ5 from Los Angeles touching down at 7:20am – one of 41 international arrivals expected to land today.

“Alongside the safety and welfare of people, our goal throughout has been to get travellers reconnected and help them get where they need to be. The team at Auckland Airport is so pleased to see people at the terminal starting to get on their way again today and put what has been a really challenging experience behind them,” said Carrie Hurihanganui, Auckland Airport Chief Executive.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of the 100-plus volunteers from our team at Auckland Airport over the past 37 hours, many of whom at been at the terminal around the clock to support travellers, even when they were facing their own challenges around flooding at home,” she said.

“For people travelling internationally, we want to let them know that some airport processes may take longer than normal as we restart international travel, so we just ask for travellers’ patience and understanding as we gradually get back up to speed.

“With the disruption to flight schedules, it may also take airlines several days to rebook passengers. Anyone travelling in the next few days who has questions about the impact to their travel plans should talk to their airline or travel agent. Rest-assured, we’re all working together as an airport community to get everyone where they need to be over the coming days.”

Support for travellers

The Auckland Airport team has continued to support stranded travellers, handing out more than 500 blankets, 1000 hot meals, thousands of water bottles and fruit to people at the terminals, as well as providing nappies and baby food where needed. A free sausage sizzle was also incredibly popular, with hundreds of sausages and bread served up last night around dinner time.

Auckland Airport’s marae, Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa, was opened to grateful families and the elderly last night, with about 30 travellers welcomed on with a pōwhiri and provided a late supper of cups of tea, sausage rolls, cake and biscuits, and sleeping overnight in the whare nui on stretchers and blankets.

“Kaumatua, members of the Auckland Airport team and the Auckland Red Cross stayed overnight with travellers, and from what I hear from our people, many of those visitors were incredibly touched by what was a unique and special experience for them sleeping in the whare nui.

“So many organisations in the airport and wider community have stepped up to assist travellers, and I’d like to give a huge thank you to people for all their help.”

Advice for travellers over the coming days

  • Only those passengers with an international flight booked and scheduled should come to the international terminal.
  • If you are unsure about the impact on your travel plans, please contact your airline or check airline apps or websites.
  • Airline schedules may be disrupted for several days as operations gradually return to normal
  • Air New Zealand advises customers to check the arrival and departures page on their website for updated departure times. Air New Zealand international passenger services will resume from noon today.
  • Domestic terminal operations continue as normal.


For further information, please contact:


Libby Middlebrook

Head of Communications

+6421 989 908 [email protected]