Flights cancelled after thick fog

Low fog upset some travellers’ Christmas holiday plans as flights in and out of Wellington Airport were cancelled.

The fog and cloud, caused by warm northerly air mixing with damper air, settled over much of Wellington today.

Air New Zealand confirmed 40 flights in or out of the capital were cancelled as a result. They included flights to Hamilton, Gisborne, Rotorua, Nelson, Blenheim, Taupo, Dunedin, and Timaru.

Jan Peek was scheduled to fly out of Wellington with her family at 8am and was meant to be in Queenstown this afternoon picking up tickets to walk the Routeburn Track, which they were due to start today.

Instead they spent the afternoon at Wellington Airport after their plane was ‘‘delayed and delayed then cancelled’’.

The family managed to finally get an afternoon flight to Dunedin and were facing a long bus ride to Queenstown last night.

‘‘I don’t think we can complain. They can’t help the weather,’’ she said.

Likewise, Kendra Cocksedge, who was returning home to New Plymouth for Christmas, was philosophical about the delay.

‘‘You can’t really do much about it. There’s probably people who have to get home for more important things.’’

Her flight to New Plymouth was cancelled, but she was offered one to Whanganui instead and was trying to arrange family members to pick her up.

Rowena Coleman turned up for her flight to Christchurch for Christmas with children Emma, 11, and Liam 9, at 11.45am and had to wait for one at 6.45pm instead. ‘‘There’s not a lot you can do about it – Wellington weather.’’

MetService forecaster Ian Gall said there was no significant wind on the way to ‘‘flush’’ away the low cloud, meaning it was expected to stick around until this morning.

The warm air was coming from north of New Zealand, and took temperatures in Hawke’s Bay to 22 degrees Celsius at 4am this morning.

The Dominion Post