Passenger plane flies for 13 hours but lands at the same airport it took off from
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A commercial flight was forced to turn back to the same airport it took off from after 13 hours in the air.
However, it never made it to its destination. Warning: Contains scenes of severe flooding:
The journey from Dubai to Auckland was expected to take 9,000 miles - a 16-hour flight - however, after 13 hours in the air, the plane landed back at Dubai International Airport.
Why? Well, because pilots got wind of the news that Auckland Airport had been closed after a downpour of torrential rain hit the city, causing severe flooding, so bad, several people died.
The FlightAware data from the journey shows the plane departing from the airport and making it over the sea, not far from Malaysia, before having to do a u-turn back and resultantly returning to the airport in Dubai soon after midnight on Saturday (28 January).
Auckland Airport was forced to close its airport and cancel domestic and international flights after flooding left travellers stuck inside the terminal buildings wading through knee-deep flood water.
In a statement it said: “Auckland Airport has been assessing the damage to our international terminal and unfortunately determined that no international flights can operate today.
“We know this is extremely frustrating but the safety of passengers is our top priority.”
Auckland Airport reopened to domestic flights at lunchtime on Saturday, before international flights resumed on Sunday morning (28 January).
Apologising to those affected by the closure, airport Chief Executive Carrie Hurihanganui said it had been a ‘really long and challenging night’.
"Our teams, and those of our airport partners, continue to work around the clock to make sure we can get our domestic and international terminal operations open safely as soon as possible," she said.
New Zealand’s north island had been hit by heavy rainfall, flash floods and landslides since Friday, with officials declaring a state of emergency after Auckland received the amount of rain it would have all summer in one single day.
The death toll rose to four after a man who went missing when he was swept away in Onewhero, a village 70km south of Auckland, was confirmed to have died.
Addressing the incident, Mayor Wayne Brown said to press at the time his 'big worry' was despite many Aucklanders thinking 'the worse is behind us' it wasn't.
Brown said the downfall was ‘by far the biggest’ in the city’s history, and that it was ‘well beyond’ levels emergency services could have ‘imagine or planned for’.
UNILAD has reached out to Emirates for comment.