AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — Air New Zealand is embarking on a major effort to reschedule approximately 9,000 passengers who have been affected by recent floods in Auckland, leaving them either stranded abroad or stuck at home. This marks one of the largest passenger recoveries in the airline's history.

The limited availability of airline seats has made the task a challenging logistical puzzle for Air New Zealand. In order to accommodate everyone, the airline has had to get creative. Some passengers will be accommodated on a superjumbo jet provided by Singapore Airlines, while others may be placed on flights originally intended for cargo only.

Despite a frantic effort to rebook passengers at a rate of two per minute since late Saturday, Air New Zealand has confirmed that about 300 travelers still do not have alternative travel plans. The disruptions to incoming and outgoing flights resulted from the closure of Auckland Airport over the weekend following heavy rainfall that led to widespread flooding in the city.

According to the New Zealand Herald, some passengers who are stranded in Singapore have been informed that securing seats on other flights will be a challenge before the end of February.

The severe rainfall in Auckland, which has affected over 1.6 million residents and resulted in four fatalities, has created a need for cleanup efforts. Air New Zealand has stated that they are closely monitoring the weather forecast in the coming days.

In a bid to assist its customers, Air New Zealand's alliance partner, Singapore Airlines, deployed an A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world, instead of the usual Boeing 777, to help passengers travel to and from the city-state on Tuesday night. The airline is also operating additional recovery flights from Japan and Samoa to bring travelers back home.

Air New Zealand added an extra flight from Los Angeles to get another 300 passengers back to New Zealand. The airline's New York service was scheduled to make a stop in Fiji to pick up 111 passengers en route.