Air New Zealand cockpit problem causes 13-hour detour from Christchurch to Auckland

Photo: File image / Getty
Photo: File image / Getty
An Air New Zealand service flew a 13-hour loop over the Pacific Ocean after developing a fault with its windshield.

NZ287 departed Christchurch shortly after 10am for Shanghai on Friday - only to loop back for home.

Those tracking the flight saw it make a sharp turn back to New Zealand at roughly seven hours into the trip.

A spokesperson for the airline says this decision was made following the report of a fault.

It was diverted back to Auckland, taking 12 hours and 20 minutes to make the trip of 750km - as the Boeing flies.

The airline says the decision to return to New Zealand was precaution "due to a minor abrasion to the windscreen."

"The decision to divert to Auckland was made due to proximity of the Auckland Maintenance facility and it having the right capability and parts to fix it."

The airline said that no passengers were inconvenienced and it was a "cargo only" flight.

Shanghai remains a route that is extremely light on passenger, though important for New Zealand freight. While China still enforces a strict isolation policy for arrivals, the decision to return home was a wise one to avoid crewing headaches and engineers having to quarantine in China.

In January another Air NZ 787 was stranded, with crew stuck on board, after diverting to Hong Kong. Chief of the Pilots Association Andrew Ridling was involved in negotiations to grant exceptions to the crew, who were unable to disembark due to the strict Covid-19 rules.

This plane was also diverted due to a crack in the windscreen, reported the Shanghai Morning Post.

-By Thomas Bywater



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