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Air New Zealand plane en route to Pape'ete struck by lightning, forced to return to Auckland

An Air New Zealand plane en route to Tahiti has been forced to return to Auckland after being struck by lightning tonight.

In a statement Air New Zealand said: "Flight NZ42 from Auckland to Pape'ete returned to Auckland this evening after encountering lightning."

They say the plane will be inspected by engineers.

The statement goes on to say: "Lightning strikes are not uncommon. Aircraft are designed with this in mind and our pilots train for this scenario."

"Customers will be accommodated on alternative services."
 

Screenshot taken from a flight aware website showing how far the plane got before having to turn back.
Screenshot taken from flightaware website showing how far the plane got before having to turn back. Source: Flightaware.com

Air New Zealand Boeing 787 (file picture).
Air New Zealand Boeing 787 (file picture). Source: istock.com