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Emirates flight forced to return to Dubai after severe flooding closes Auckland Airport

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Passenger plane completes 13-hour flight circumnavigating globe lands back at Dubai airport due to Auckland Airport closure

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A commercial flight, Emirates flight EK448, bound for Auckland, New Zealand, from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, found itself on an unexpected journey as it completed a 13-hour flight only to return to the same airport it took off from. The flight, which departed Dubai at 10:30 am on 27 January, faced unforeseen circumstances as Auckland Airport closed due to severe flooding caused by torrential rain. The unexpected turn of events forced the plane to land back in Dubai after 13 hours in the air, circling over the sea near Malaysia before returning to its origin.

Emirates flight EK448 embarked on a 16-hour journey from Dubai to Auckland on 27 January, departing at 10:30 am. However, after 13 hours in the air, the flight was forced to return to Dubai International Airport due to the closure of Auckland Airport. Severe flooding, caused by torrential rain, led to the closure of Auckland Airport, disrupting both domestic and international flights. The unexpected turn of events resulted in the plane making a u-turn over the sea near Malaysia and landing back in Dubai soon after midnight on 28 January.

Auckland Airport faced closure and flight cancellations after heavy rainfall, flash floods, and landslides hit New Zealand’s north island. The city experienced an unprecedented downpour, leading to knee-deep floodwaters inside the terminal buildings. Domestic and international flights were temporarily halted, affecting numerous travelers. The closure was a safety measure, and Auckland Airport reopened to domestic flights at lunchtime on 28 January, with international flights resuming the following morning.

New Zealand’s north island declared a state of emergency as heavy rainfall, flash floods, and landslides swept through the region. Auckland, hit by the most significant rainfall in a single day, experienced widespread challenges. Emergency services declared a state of emergency, and the death toll rose to four. Mayor Wayne Brown highlighted the historical magnitude of the downfall, emphasizing that it surpassed levels emergency services could have anticipated.

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