A China Southern flight delayed for 48 hours at Auckland Airport is scheduled to depart at 10am today.

Passengers on the flight bound for Guangzhou, China have been stranded at Auckland Airport since Sunday morning. It's understood engineering problems were discovered in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The flight is listed on the Auckland Airport website as scheduled to depart at 10am today.

Police had to attend the airport yesterday after a mob erupted with furious passengers yelling at airline staff.


Passenger Alex Lee posted a video of the disruption to social media yesterday.

Lee said the drama began when people arrived for a full flight scheduled to leave at 10am on Sunday. Eventually the passengers were told to come back the following day and given hotel rooms for the night.

The passengers returned to the airport yesterday morning for the rescheduled flight at 11am.

But 11am came and went with no announcement while the passengers waited. That's when, as Lee called it, the mob "activated".

"I don't know if you've been to a Guangzhou dumpling restaurant, but if you have, you know the Chinese can get loud and rowdy," he said.

"Kids were agitated, their parents were stressed and tired and there had been no notice of delay. They all began yelling over each other, demanding information."

When the first announcement of delay came it was in Chinese leaving other non-Chinese speakers, Lee included, baffled. They were given another meal voucher for $18.

Lee said the passengers continued to protest and when they got a bit unruly and police needed to called in "just to keep an eye on things."


Police officers confirmed to the Herald they were advised by aviation security about the issue, however they noted that upon their arrival "things had calmed down."

Finally, around 1pm, the passengers were told to offload, check out, and go back to the China Southern counter, despite the fact that the flight had been rescheduled to depart at 7pm.

Lee said that the passengers expected to check in for the 7pm departure at the counters when they were told there was no guarantee it would leave. Lee managed to get on a Christchurch flight in time to take the 7pm China Southern flight to Guangzhou from there.

He said when he left for Auckland's domestic terminal to catch his Christchurch flight, at least 50 people were still waiting in line at China Southern counters.

Auckland Airport would not comment on the delays, saying it was an issue for the airline.

China Southern said this afternoon it could not comment on the delays.

A Dreamliner 787 and a Boeing 777 were hit with technical faults yesterday and the problems cascaded. A flight did get away from Auckland to Guangzhou mid-morning.

Engineers are working to fix the faults.

Last month on November 5, the China Southern Airlines flight CZ336, a Boeing 787-8, was reported to have shut down one of its engines shortly after take-off at Auckland Airport. The flight was forced to make an emergency landing, sparking a full emergency at the airport.

The flight landed without incident.

State-owned China Southern Airlines' growth has been spectacular since its entry into the New Zealand market in 2011.

The airline launched with just three flights a week between Auckland and its base in Guangzhou in 2011 but four years later was flying double daily flights to cope with the surge in Chinese visitors. It is flying five times a week between Christchurch and the south-eastern Chinese city during the summer.

Growth here mirrors the state-owned airline's rapid global expansion. China Southern is one of the biggest airlines in the world and has expanded from carrying 10 million passengers in 1994 to well more than 100 million.

The airline was the first to fly scheduled services into New Zealand using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which made its first flight here in 2013.