Air NZ plane turns back on delivery flight after failing to get clearance to overfly Iran

A brand new Air New Zealand Airbus plane has had to turn back on its delivery flight, after failing to get clearance to fly over Iran.

Air New Zealand took delivery of its fourth A321neo last week and it left Hamburg, Germany bound for a stopover in Oman.

But the airline says the necessary paperwork to enter Iranian airspace was not received in time and a a decision was made to return to Hamburg.

"In this case, a last minute delay in the delivery process meant that in order to land in Oman on time, we needed to depart Hamburg before clearance paperwork had been received to overfly Iran," Air New Zealand said in a statement tonight. 

"We had received assurances by our delivery flight planning agent that the Iranian clearance paperwork would come through during the flight. Unfortunately this was not received in time and the decision was made to return to Hamburg," the airline said.

The aircraft has since departed Hamburg and is expected to arrive in Auckland late on Thursday evening, the statement said.

It's the second time this month an Air New Zealand flight had to be turned back because of insufficient paperwork.

A flight was refused permission to land in Shanghai on February 10 because the aircraft had not been registered with Chinese authorities.

Airbus A321neo in Air New Zealand livery Source: Supplied

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