Air NZ working through huge backlog of passengers after wild weather cancelled flights in Wellington

It's been another frustrating day for travellers as airports work through a backlog of passengers created by more than 180 flight cancellations on Thursday. 

Air New Zealand is moving 126,000 people around the country over the next three days, as school holidays come to an end. 

Wellington's runway is back in action and people are finally on the move after an entire day of cancelled flights.

"I was going to go and visit my granny but that got delayed until today," one person told Newshub. "Apparently got a clear flight today so I'll get myself home."

More than 180 planes were grounded across the country on Thursday - mostly in the Capital where gale-force winds pummelled the city.

Which meant some Wellington-based Liam Gallagher fans missed out on last night's concert in Auckland. 

"Our flights were cancelled, so at that stage, we knew we weren't going up there," Oasis fan Liam Ennis said. "To miss out is yeah, disappointing."

Some people gave up waiting for a plane to Auckland and hired a car instead.  

"So we drove up last night, got here about one in the morning. Good to be going home!" one person said.

Air New Zealand plans to help others get home too - but it will be a huge job, especially as school holidays come to an end.

"We're trying to get roughly 126,000 people moved over the next three days so quite a challenge, and on top of that of course we are dealing with COVID like many businesses are," Air NZ CEO Greg Foran said. 

Wellington Airport said the wind died down on Friday, allowing it to start clearing through the backlog caused by all the cancellations. But, there are still flow-on disruptions, and passengers are being urged to get here early.  

The weather's also causing delays on the roads - one slip in Wadestown is expected to take days to clear.  

While on the water, both ferry companies are back in action after six-metre swells in the Cook Strait yesterday.

Though Bluebridge passengers still had a bumpy ride from Picton this morning.

"It was pretty rough, there were a lot of sick people on the boat," one person said. 

"It was gnarly," another said.

"We had a lot of fun, everyone was vomiting around us but we are sailors, we were fine," a third said.

And good news for Wellington, the weather's expected to be fine this weekend too.