An Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to New York ended up landing back in Auckland 16 hours after takeoff due to an electrical fire knocking out power to John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 1. File Photo by Dan Himbrechts/EPA-EFE
Feb. 17 (UPI) --
Passengers on a flight from New Zealand to New York spent 16 hours in the air just to end up at the same airport where their journey began.
The Air New Zealand nonstop flight from Auckland to New York had been in the air for about 8 hours Thursday and was about 2,000 miles from California when the airline received word that
an electrical fire
at New York's
John F. Kennedy International
Airport had led to Terminal 1 being closed.
The airline said the decision was made for the plane to turn around and return to Auckland, where it landed about 16 hours after departing.
"Diverting to another U.S. port would have meant the aircraft would remain on the ground for several days, impacting a number of other scheduled services and customers," an airline spokeswoman
told the New Zealand Herald.
remained closed Friday
while crews repaired the issues caused by the electrical fire.
The airline apologized to passengers and said those aboard the flight would be booked on the next available flights to New York.