1:45pm: Flights away at Auckland Airport but bumpy few days ahead

14 February 2023

Flights are flowing again at Auckland Airport today but with widespread travel disruption caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, travellers are advised to expect a bumpy restart.

By breakfast today international flights were running again, with domestic services underway at noon, said Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s Chief Customer Officer.

“We’re expecting it to be busy across both terminals as airlines work to get people who have had their travel plans disrupted over the past few days back flying. To help clear the travel backlog faster, some airlines are opting to add extra flights or to operate with bigger aircraft,” said Mr Tasker.

“Our teams are all working really hard to get people where they need to be after the storm disruptions, but at times there may be delays and queuing, particularly if high winds make it unsafe for airline ground handling staff to load and unload baggage from the aircraft. This may impact arriving international flights and we ask travellers to please bear with us as we work with airlines and border agencies to keep things flowing.”

Around 104 international flights and 96 domestic flights were set to arrive and depart today, but airlines and their pilots always make the final decision about whether to fly based on the expected weather conditions and operational requirements.

Terminal operations, including retail, dining, car parking and transport, are all up and running as normal.

“It’s still possible that over the coming days there may be some short-notice flight delays or cancellations, so travellers will need to carefully monitor for any updates from their airline or travel agents.”

Last night Auckland Airport had flood mitigations in place, including pumps, sucker trucks, sandbagging and around 25 staff at the ready, but the terminals weren’t affected by flooding or high winds and there was only limited surface flooding around the wider precinct.

Given the predicted high winds, airlines, ground handlers and construction teams on precinct were asked to prepare ahead by making sure they’d secured anything that could become airborne and create a risk on the airfield.

Advice for travellers

  • Travellers are advised that airline schedules may be disrupted for several days as operations gradually return to normal
  • Both international and domestic terminals are expected to be busy as travel resumes. We ask that only passengers with a confirmed booking on a flight scheduled to depart come to the airport
  • We recommend you pack any essential medication and a change of clothes in your carry-on baggage just in case your travel is disrupted midway through your journey
  • Terminal retailers and dining options will operate as normal
  • Travellers should check airline websites, travel apps or email for airline or travel agent updates before leaving for the airport, and monitor Auckland Airport social media channels for updates about airport operations

Parking and transport operations

  • Stay up to date with the latest information on your route to the airport on the Waka Kotahi website
  • Auckland Airport car parks and pick-up / drop-off areas are open
  • Any travellers who were parked in one of our carparks for longer than planned due to Cyclone Gabrielle disrupting their travel should get in touch with [email protected] to arrange a refund if they are charged extra on exiting the carpark. Drive-up customers – those that didn’t pre-book parking online – should hold on to their exit receipt for use when claiming a refund
  • Park & Ride buses are operating, as are taxis, rideshares, the SkyDrive city bus connection and public transport. Please check AT for updates to the public transport network
  • Updates to Auckland Airport’s operations will be shared on its website and social media channels – www.aucklandairport.co.nz , Facebook: AucklandAirport, Twitter: @AKL_Airport, and Instagram: aucklandairport.