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Long-haul New Zealand-China flight forced back mid-flight

AFP  |  Wellington 

A passenger plane flying from to was forced to turn back after some five hours in the air because it did not have permission to land, officials said Sunday.

Passengers said the informed them mid-flight the plane was not allowed to land in and would have to go back.

"Midway through our flight, the pilot informs us that Chinese authorities had not given this plane permission to land, so we needed to turn around. A permitting issue, supposedly," one passenger, Eric Hundman, told

"I would be stunned if Air NZ had allowed a plane full of passengers to take off without being quite sure they would be able to land it in Shanghai," the at added.

The said in a statement that "a technicality meant the particular aircraft operating this service did not have Chinese regulatory authority to land in China".

After returning to Auckland, the texted passengers to say the flight had been rescheduled and would depart Sunday night.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 10 2019. 13:05 IST