It’s not just all of us who have suffered from recent Hawaii flight diversions for a myriad of reasons. That also just happened to ABC’s Robin Roberts. Several hours ago, she posted on her Instagram feed, “The adventure continues…after 24 hour diversion it’s on to New Zealand. Immense gratitude to the @airnz staff for how they handled a challenging situation and to the ppl of Honolulu for being so gracious. Mahalo💛 #SaturdaySerenity🙏🏾
Robin, age 62, started the journey yesterday with a post saying, “Trying to make the best of flight being diverted to Honolulu until flooding subsides in Auckland. Hope all there are ok.” Totally unrelated to our story, the GMA star said she’s taking a break from the morning show on Thursday.
“After several months of planning, Glam Fam and I, we’re going to New Zealand! she said.” Of course, a detour to Hawaii and a day on the beach at Waikiki is almost never a bad thing, and it sounds like the entire thing went well. See more details below.
Honolulu as an airline diversion stop.
On Thursday, Roberts’ flight, Air New Zealand Flight 1, departed New York’s JFK at 9:06 pm and was headed to Auckland. What happened then is that tragic flooding in New Zealand created a situation wherein the airport was forced to close. That resulted in the flight diverting, and as you can see from the FlightAware map above, Honolulu was a logical place. The flight then headed about 1,500 miles northwest of its then-current position. While there were other diversion points beyond Hawaii, Honolulu is clearly well-equipped to handle such events and is also a regular gateway city for Air New Zealand’s international flights. The Boeing 789 Dreamliner pulled into Honolulu at 4:53 am on Friday.
Roberts was able to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach in Honolulu. This morning, Saturday, the flight resumed from Honolulu at 7:27 am and is due to arrive in Auckland Sunday at 4:24 pm.
Other flights to Auckland are canceled due to the flooding, including today’s Hawaiian Airlines flight and another Air New Zealand flight from New York.
Epic flooding in New Zealand caused the diversion.
Auckland is reported to have received “75% of its usual summer rainfall in just 15 hours.” A state of emergency was declared to help manage widespread flooding and evacuations.
The airport in Auckland was also flooded. Auckland departures were grounded until 5:00 am local time on Sunday or later, and no international arrivals are permitted before 7:00 am on Sunday.
Our thoughts go first and foremost to the people of New Zealand during this tragic weather event in which at least three people have already been killed.
Hawaii flight diversions of all kinds continue.
This is certainly a different type of diversion than the plethora of disruptive passenger flight diversions which have recently occurred. It also reminds us that Hawaii sits in the middle of a very long stretch of the eastern Pacific Ocean with few diversion points. The most recent (although entirely dissimilar) weather-related Hawaii flight event occurred on December 18, when bad weather en route caused mass injuries onboard Hawaiian Airlines Flight 35.
Lead photo: Robin Roberts’ Instagram