Flights to & from New Zealand’s city of Christchurch have been affected this evening following a shooting that has resulted in multiple fatalities.

Local police confirmed that worshippers at two mosques – Deans Avenue in central Christchurch and one in a nearby suburb of Linwood – were targeted in the tragic shootings.

Shooters are believed to have used automatic weapons on worshippers, which has resulted in “significant” fatalities. Police are yet to confirm numbers.

Explosive devices were also located on nearby vehicles and have since been disarmed, ABC News reported. Four people have also been apprehended and taken into custody.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shooting as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

“There have been huge acts of bravery to apprehend these people, but let’s not assume that the threat is over. We are as visually equipped as we can be.”

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister

As a result of today’s devastating events, flights have been affected from Christchurch Airport, including the cancellation of all remaining Air New Zealand regional services scheduled to depart this evening.

In a statement, Air New Zealand explained that the airport was not equipped to handle customer and baggage screenings for all 17 regional services. However, jet operations from Christchurch Airport will continue due to security screening processes in place.

Inbound regional and jet services to Christchurch will continue to operate at this time. Some regional aircraft will depart Christchurch to position to elsewhere on the network – with pilots and crew only onboard.

Customers who are booked to travel are asked to check the arrivals and departure page on the Air New Zealand website for their flight status.

Customers affected by cancellations still wanting to travel will be rebooked on the next available service. Customers on cancelled services who no longer wish to travel can receive a refund or hold their fare in credit for up to 12 months.

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