Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Auckland Airport backlog cleared

An Air New Zealand Link plane sits on the tarmac in thick fog. File photo / NZ Herald
An Air New Zealand Link plane sits on the tarmac in thick fog. File photo / NZ Herald

A backlog of flights at Auckland Airport due to morning fog and problems with a Qantas aircraft which broke down on the taxiway have now been cleared.

A spokesman from the airport said flights had been running to schedule since 6pm.

Early morning fog, followed by the Qantas plane breakdown at 11.50am forced flights to be diverted to Christchurch and Wellington airports, as well as to the Ohakea Air Base.

Twenty-eight regional flights were also cancelled.

Passengers on the Qantas plane, a 737-800 from Sydney, remained on the aircraft for about an hour while it was towed from the runway, the spokesman said.

"It landed safely. For safety reasons, we closed part of the runway until the plane was removed. That took just over an hour.''

Qantas said in a statement there had been a "minor issue'' with the plane's brakes.

"Passengers were transferred to the terminal by bus and the aircraft has been towed to the gate,'' a spokesperson said.

The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed an investigation into the Qantas breakdown was underway.

"The CAA is aware of this incident. The operator is required to report the details of this occurrence and conduct its own investigation,'' a spokesman said.

"The CAA will monitor the investigation to ensure that any potential safety issue are identified and addressed appropriately.''


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