An Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Shanghai had to turn back midway on Sunday morni
ng after the aircraft was found to be lacking the required permission to land in China’s mainland.
The Boeing 787-9, operating as Flight NZ289, took off from Au
kland, New Zealand, around midnight on Saturday local time but turned back after flying for a
bout 4.5 hours. The flight was scheduled to land at Pudong International Airport at 7:05am Beijing time.
In a short message sent to passengers later, the airline said the “aircraft operating the flight did not have reg
ulatory approval to land in Chinese mainland and was required to return to Auckland.”
The B787-9, the bigger version of the Dreamliner, with the registration ZK-NZQ, has been flying wit
h the airline for five months, but has never landed in the Chinese mainland, according to its flying records.
According to China’s civil aviation regulation, foreign carriers are required to
submit a list of the type, nationality and registration mark of aircraft sch
eduled to land in Chinese mainland to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) before operating the flight.