Skip to main content

It was the return flight that nobody intended to take after an Air New Zealand plane was forced to do a U-turn over the South Pacific.

Flight NZ289 left Auckland on Monday night and was bound for Shanghai but was forced to turn back near the Solomon Islands just four-and-half hours into the 12-hour flight.

The pilots reported that one of the plane’s engines was using more fuel than normal and turned back as a “proactive safety measure”. The plane will now undergo a rigorous safety check.

“The decision was made to return to Auckland so the aircraft could be checked by our engineering team here to expedite repair,” Air New Zealand chief operating officer Alex Marren told 7News 

“The aircraft arrived in Auckland at 8:36am this (Tuesday) morning and customers will be accommodated on the next available service.

“’We’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding while our teams work through the rebooking process.”

It’s the second incident involving Air New Zealand in recent times following the severe turbulence which hit a flight from Wellington to Queenstown last month. Two people were injured in that incident on June 16.