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Published on Monday, February 11, 2019

Air New Zealand error saw plane turned away from China

Air New Zealand is taking heat after a flight was denied permission to land in China and had to return to Auckland.

It was about five hours into the flight to Shanghai before it was found the aircraft type did not have a permit to land.

"It is normal process to get a flight plan cleared by local authorities prior to departure and this was done on this occasion and was approved by Chinese authorities," Air NZ said.

"Unfortunately, it was discovered during the flight that this particular aircraft did not, in fact, have the necessary permit to land.''

Aviation commentator Irene King told the NZ Herald it was 'a serious administrative cock-up' by the carrier and highly unusual.

The airline hasn't disclosed what aircraft type was used on the flight, but analysts suspect the aircraft flown was different from the one on the initial flight plan logged.

Chinese authorities are 'very particular' about the correct information, King added.

"We know customers will be deeply disappointed and frustrated by this situation and we are very sorry for the disruption to their travel plans," Air NZ said.

The flight was rescheduled for departure on Sunday night.

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