Cancel Preloader

Storms Affects Nearly 12,000 Passengers In New Zealand


  • Wild winds in New Zealand have caused flight disruptions, with 12,000 passengers displaced and ferries between islands canceled.
  • Air New Zealand passengers experienced “white knuckle” turbulence, although the airline claimed the flight was relatively unaffected.
  • A Jetstar flight had to be diverted back to Auckland due to severe turbulence, with passengers describing it as a wild and frightening experience.

Wild weather has been battering parts of New Zealand the last few days, with stormy winds reaching up to 150kmph (93 miles) in exposed places. This has brought down trees, and those traveling by air have been fortunate enough to experience heart-skipping turbulence.

Air New Zealand passengers on a recent flight between Christchurch and Sydney had a ‘white knuckle’ experience when the flight hit gale force winds, and passengers felt their body was being thrown from side to side.


Photo: stockphoto mania | Shutterstock

While some passengers seem traumatized, Air New Zealand’s Head of Flight Operations, Hugh Pearce, claimed the CHC to SYD flight moved very little.

12,000 travelers displaced

As reported by online news outlet Stuff, across New Zealand, 12,000 passengers were displaced due to delayed and canceled flights over the last few days. Not only were flights canceled, but all ferries connecting the North and South Islands of New Zealand on Monday were postponed, effectively severing the nation into two.


Photo: stockphoto mania | Shutterstock

Ninety-three flights were canceled in the NZ domestic network on Monday, with the nation’s flag carrier, Air New Zealand, adding extra services on Tuesday to help feed capacity into an already stretched capacity given its school holidays.

A terrifying Jetstar flight

Passengers looking to travel between Auckland and Queenstown on Monday, October 2nd, got the experience of a lifetime. En route to Central Otago, Jetstar flight JQ295 experienced ‘severe turbulence’ and only got as far south as Tekapo before the flight made the wise decision and diverted back to Auckland.

The Jetstar flight was scheduled to depart from Auckland at 08:30 Monday morning, eventually being wheels up by 08:52. By looking at data from, the pilot decided around an hour into the 90-minute journey that it was unsafe and returned to the nation’s busiest airport.


Parts of the South Island had experienced wind gusts of up to 150kmph, and as reported by the New Zealand passenger Dylan Steele, noted that ‘all hell broke loose’ when the aircraft started to descend. Steele further explained:

“I was next to the wing, so I was looking out the window, and all I saw was the wing flapping like a bloody feather. It was just wild; I had never experienced turbulence that bad. It felt like a rollercoaster ride.”


Photo: Ryan Fletcher | Shutterstock

There have been claims that many travelers were reaching for sick bags to relieve nausea, and there was widespread celebration and relief once the aircraft finally touched down on solid ground. Lousy weather has now started to subside, with many airlines able to operate standard scheduling today.

Were your travel plans affected by the storms in New Zealand recently? Let us know what happened in the comments.

Sources: New Zealand Herald, Stuff (Turbulence), Stuff (Weather),

  • Air New Zealand Tile

    Air New Zealand

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport, Wellington Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Greg Foran


    New Zealand


Related post