Wild weather: Strong winds ground flights

Air New Zealand yesterday told passengers it expected to cancel some flights to Wellington due to severe weather. - Photo: RNZ

Strong winds in Wellington have forced multiple domestic flights to and from the city to be cancelled.

Yesterday, Air New Zealand advised passengers it was going to cancel a number of flights today due to the severe weather forecast, and recommended travellers to defer or change their bookings.

So far, nine flights from around the country, including Auckland, Blenheim, Tauranga, Timaru and Nelson, to Wellington have been affected.

While 11 departures from the city to regions, including New Plymouth, Blenheim, Nelson, Rotorua, Napier, Auckland and Christchurch, have also been affected.

MetService says a strong wind warning was in place for the city. Windspeeds of 52km/h were recorded this morning at Lyall Bay.

MetService warned of severe Northwest gales with gusts potentially reaching 140km/h in open spaces.

Damage to trees, powerlines and unsecured structures might also occur due to gusts.

MetService says driving might be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

Air New Zealand is offering fare flexibility for the next two days, where customers with cancelled flights will have the option to transfer their booking to another date, or hold the fare value in credit for up to 12 months for future travel.

The airline says passengers should subscribe to its 'travel alert' service to receive ongoing updates.

Auckland's domestic terminal is quieter than normal this morning, after cancellations to flights to Wellington. Photo: RNZ.

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