Heavy fog in city stops flights

Morning fog on Tay St, Invercargill. The fog disrupted flights in and out of the city.
Morning fog on Tay St, Invercargill. The fog disrupted flights in and out of the city.

Fog caused havoc for business travellers and holiday makers at Invercargill airport with flights cancelled and diverted last night and today.

Passengers looking to fly out of Invercargill this morning were forced to reschedule their fights or find alternative transport to reach their destination.

Invercargill Air New Zealand manager Mike McGee said four scheduled flights could not land yesterday and there had been no departures this morning.

‘‘The last flight to arrive was at 1pm yesterday and the fog has not lifted so no flights have been able to come in or out at this stage today,’’ he said.

A bus had been arranged to transport passengers to Dunedin for connecting flights to Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, Mr McGee said.

Invercargill businessman Reece Mulligan said he was scheduled to fly to Christchurch for a connection to Melbourne. ‘‘I am trying to find a way to get to Christchurch in time to catch my overseas flight,’’ he said.

The McKay and Barrett family were preparing to board the coach to Dunedin for a flight to Wellington to start a family holiday.

‘‘There is not much we can do about the fog,’’ mum Suzanne Barrett said.

‘‘It will all be part of the adventure for the kids.’’

Gavin Hawke, of Invercargill, said he was supposed to get to Christchurch for a business meeting. ‘‘I don’t think I’ll be able to make it so I’ll head back to work and look at the options,’’ he said.

Passengers had been understanding, Mr McGee said.

‘‘They can look out the window and see the fog so that helps,’’ he said.

Airport general manager Chloe Scala said the fog appeared to be lifting and the airport was hopeful flights would be landing and departing this afternoon.

However, low lying cloud could still pose a problem, she said.

Passengers are being advised to check their flight status with their airline.

The Southland Times