New Zealand-bound plane flies 13 hours only to land where it took off

Passengers on an Emirates flight bound for Auckland, New Zealand that left Dubai Friday morning ended up landing back at the same airport where it took off a little more than 13 hours later. 

Flight EK448 departed at 10:30 a.m. local time and the pilot turned around nearly halfway into the almost 9,000-mile journey, landing back in Dubai just after midnight Saturday, according to FlightAware and Business Insider. 

Auckland Airport was forced to close at the start of the weekend due to severe flooding. 

“Auckland Airport has been assessing the damage to our international terminal and unfortunately determined that no international flights can operate today,” the airport said in a statement on Saturday afternoon local time. “We know this is extremely frustrating but the safety of passengers is our top priority.”

On Saturday night local time, after domestic flights resumed, airport officials said that international flights would resume Sunday morning.

Emirates said in a statement to Business Insider, “We regret the inconvenience caused to customers. Emirates will continue to monitor the situation in Auckland and issue updates where required.”

The airline didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

Flight 448 was rescheduled for Saturday Dubai time and was due to arrive in Auckland Sunday afternoon local time. 

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