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Air NZ flight from Houston to Auckland diverts to Fiji

January 19, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

An Air New Zealand flight from Houston Texas to Auckland on Wednesday diverted to Fiji, but the reason was neither mechanical nor related to fuel.

It was related to crew hours, and the diversion turned a long flight, which generally takes about 14 hours and 30 minutes, into a real marathon lasting almost 24 hours.

Flight NZ29, operated with one of Air NZ’s B787-9 Dreamliners, was set to leave Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport on schedule, but the frozen conditions sweeping the US delayed it on the ground in Houston.

AIr NZ B787-9 Dreamliner

Eventually, the plane took off, but headed for Fiji rather than the stated destination of Auckland, as flight crew and cabin crew didn’t have sufficient hours left to complete the scheduled non-stop service to New Zealand. Instead, the plane had to put down in Nadi for a crew change.

Icy weather is still hitting Houston, with the FlightAware airline tracking site indicating yesterday afternoon that flights to and from Houston George Bush Intercontinental were being delayed by an average of 45 minutes.

FlightAware shows convoluted flight path of flight NZ029

MEANWHILE, a China Southern B777-300, flying from Auckland to Guangzhou, had not been airborne long when the crew stopped the climb because of hydraulic problems. The aircraft dumped fuel and returned to Auckland for a safe landing shortly after midnight yesterday, about an hour after departure.

Passengers were conveyed to nearby hotels and the Aviation Herald reported that the plane was still on the ground in Auckland about eight hours after landing.

Written by Peter Needham

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