Air NZ flight forced to return to Auckland due to light problems at Tongan airport




An Air New Zealand flight to Tonga was forced to turn back because the main island's runway lights were not working.

ANZ Boeing 747 400 at Auckland Airport New Zealand. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

Air New Zealand plane tail (file picture).

Source: Getty

Flight NZ974 left for Fua'amotu Airport at 5pm on Tuesday but during the roughly three-hour flight the airline was told the lights were not working, meaning it could not land.

"The aircraft returned to Auckland after making a short refuelling stop in Fiji," a spokeswoman said.

The flight arrived back in Auckland about 1.10am, Fairfax reports.

An extra return service would fly on Wednesday, during daylight hours, to accommodate the affected passengers. The airline did not say how many people were aboard.

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