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Air NZ Hydraulic Issues Halts Flight Take Off

Air NZ Hydraulic Issues Halts Flight Take Off
Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777-200 aircraft being readied for departure at the Nadi International Airport on July 15, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
July 16
15:24 2018

An Air New Zealand flight bound for Auckland could not take off on Saturday after it developed hydraulic issues at the Nadi International Airport.

The aircraft departed yesterday at around 3PM with some 170 passengers on board, a number less than the close to 280 passengers booked for the initial flight.

Some 280 passengers on board the Boeing 777-200 aircraft were asked to disembark the plane when the issue arose after waiting for hours inside.

Passengers praised the way Air New Zealand looked after them.

Among the passengers were current and former Fijian citizens, along with foreign nationals, a majority of whom were from New Zealand.

The passengers were transferred to Nalagi Hotel in Nadi while engineers worked to fix the issue.

In aeroplanes, hydraulics controls the movement of the aircraft in all four directions.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson said: “Yesterday’s (Saturday) flight NZ51 from Nadi to Auckland was delayed due to a hydraulic issue.                         

“Customers were either rebooked on later services or accommodated in hotels. Engineers are carrying out repairs on the aircraft and it is now scheduled to depart early this (yesterday) afternoon.”

Passengers Niranjan Singh and wife Rudra, who were in the country to attend a wedding, said the situation on the plane was managed well.

“We don’t have any problem but we needed to understand why they did not take off,” Mr Singh, a former Suva resident, said.

“They were holding us in the plane and we sat in the plane for five hours and it was managed well.”

Mr Singh was a lecturer at the Fiji Institute of Technology (now Fiji National University).

The couple have been living in Auckland for over 20 years.

Former Fiji residents Niranjan Singh and his wife Rudra waiting to board the Air New Zealand aircraft at the Nadi International Airport on July 15, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Former Fiji residents Niranjan Singh and his wife Rudra waiting to board the Air New Zealand aircraft at the Nadi International Airport on July 15, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Another Fiji resident on board, transiting through Auckland, said she was happy with how the situation was handled.

“They provided food and beverages for us on board then booked our accommodation (once the delay was announced),” she said, preferring not to be identified.

“I came in this morning (yesterday) there were some issues but it was solved. I boarded the same flight that I was scheduled to yesterday.”

A New Zealand national on board who declined to be identified said: “Safety is paramount and there was nothing we could do. Their communication department was good briefing us along the way.”

Air New Zealand has had a series of problems with the engines on some of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Air NZ spokesperson denied initial reports the Boeing 777 at Nadi had engine problems.

She said: “This issue is unrelated to the aircraft’s engines.”

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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