Confused passengers ended up landing at an airport they left 13 hours prior after going on a flight to nowhere.
The strange occurrence happened on an Emirates flight going from New Zealand to Dubai on Friday (January 27).
The journey should have taken 9,000 miles from Auckland Airport, but ended up right back where it started after the city was battered with torrential rain.
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The airport had to close as a result, and the flight had to turn back in mid-air – but as New Zealand is so far away from anywhere else, the nearest airport to it was the one it left from earlier.
Weather reports in the area show that an entire summer's-worth of rain dropped in the space of 24 hours, and all flights were grounded – including all domestic and international.
Viral videos show the airport under a deluge of water, with most of the check-in desks turned into mini rivers.
Airport chief executive Carrie Hurihanganui said: “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.
“For the safety and comfort of everyone, we’re also going to need to pull up carpet, and other materials in some areas of the terminal.
“Remediation will take place for some time, but the airport will remain open throughout as we focus on helping travellers get to where they are going as quickly and safely as possible.”
Passengers nearly thrown from seats as plane wings 'vibrate' from terrifying turbulence
Several passengers hoping to leave the country were forced to spend the night sleeping inside the airport – on the upper floors – as public transport and all routes out of it by car were also flooded or cancelled.
And nearly a week later, passengers are still feeling the impact of the flooding.
Chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said: “We’re pulling all available levers to get customers on services as soon as possible.
“This includes working with alliance partners for them to use larger aircraft where possible and reworking our schedule to see where extra capacity can be added.”
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