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New Zealand earthquake: Christchurch airport plans to reopen Wednesday; extra flights added

February 22, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
(Simon Baker / Reuters )

Christchurch International Airport on New Zealand's South Island remained closed Tuesday after a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the country's second-largest city, killing at least 65 people.

On its website, the airport said it plans to resume domestic flights at 8 a.m. local time Wednesday morning and international flights later in the day. The airport has also been posting updates on Twitter.

The country's other airports, including Auckland, were operating normally.

Meanwhile, Google has set up a Person Finder link to find out about the welfare of those in Christchurch. As of Tuesday morning, the link showed 5,300 records.

Here's roundup of airport and flight information; check websites frequently for updates:

*Air New Zealand says it plans to operate domestic flights in and out of Christchurch starting Wednesday morning when the airport reopens and will add extra flights to help move passengers who are stranded in the quake-stricken city. Tickets for domestic flights in and out of Christchurch from anywhere in the country will cost 50 New Zealand dollars (about $38 U.S.) each way, the website said.

*Qantas canceled its Sydney-Christchurch flights and was allowing passengers to re-route or rebook their flights without penalty. Check the website for guidelines on changing flight plans. Singapore Airlines also canceled its flights to Christchurch and asked passengers to call for further information.

*Wellington International Airport, which sits on the southern tip of New Zealand's North Island and was unaffected by the quake, posted a message on its Facebook page asking residents to take in stranded travelers whose flights to Christchurch were canceled. People with extra rooms or even a couch responded to the online call.

"Thank you for your amazing response to request for accommodation assistance. We have accommodated everyone we needed to at this stage. Thanks Wellington!" the airport responded.

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