Flights cancelled after New Zealand earthquake

22 Feb 2011

Flights across New Zealand have been grounded after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch earlier today.

"For the moment, planes are landing but no planes are departing," said Auckland Airport spokesperson Richard Llewellyn in media reports.

Air traffic control for the country is run through Christchurch Airport.

"They are checking to make sure it is all okay, and until then, the airways system has been closed," he added.

Air travellers to and from New Zealand are advised to check with their carriers on their flight status.

Meanwhile, Christchurch Airport is closed to air traffic in the aftermath of the earthquake, the second one to hit the city in five months.

The country's main carrier Air New Zealand sent a message via Twitter saying that all its inbound and outbound flights are cancelled until 7pm today local time.

Emirates cancelled its flights between Sydney and Christchurch today and asked passengers to continue to monitor its website ( for further updates.

Qantas diverted Christchurch-bound QF45 flight from Sydney to Wellington, and cancelled the QF46 reverse leg. The airline said other services in and out of New Zealand are currently experiencing delays and disruptions due to air traffic control issues. Passengers should check for updates online at the airline's Flight Status page.

Similarly, Singapore Airlines said disruptions to its New Zealand services are expected and that it will provide regular updates on the status of its flights to Christchurch online at

For more information about the status of Christchurch Airport, visit

Gigi Onag

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