An Indian woman recalled her experience of being on an Emirates flight from Dubai to New Zealand that headed back to where it took off after flying for 13 hours. The flight was forced to make a U-turn after flooding at the Auckland airport last week.
Emirates flight EK448 to Auckland had taken off from Dubai at around 10.30am on January 27.
The flight travelled for 13 hours before landing right where it had taken off – in Dubai. The incident has earned the nickname of “the 13 hour flight to nowhere” on social media.
The woman, who lives in New Zealand, was returning home from India via Dubai with her son. Calling it an “unexpected turn of events”, she said the plane had flown for eight of the total 16 hours when it turned back. The Dubai-Auckland flight is Emirates’ longest commercial route.
“After landing in Dubai, Emirates have us hotel accommodation as they were not sure when the conditions will settle and time for next flight,” she wrote on Facebook.
The woman said she and her son made use of their time in Dubai to explore the city.
“So we used the time to see Dubai and had a good time instead of stressing over the things,” she wrote, sharing photos of their Dubai sightseeing.
They eventually reached Auckland 32 hours later.
The airport in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, had to close down because of severe flooding. Auckland and other parts of the country were hit by record rainfall last week, A record storm killed four people.
The persistent downpour also washed out Elton John's concert on both Friday and Saturday at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium amid concerns for crowd safety.