Qantas jet diverted to Invercargill, passengers stranded on board as airport doesn't have customs officers - 'The passengers have drunk the bar dry'

A Qantas jet has had an unexpected landing in one of New Zealand's smaller regional airports.

The Boeing 737-800 - QF 121 from Sydney to Queenstown - has been stuck on the runway at Invercargill Airport.

The airport says it’s thought there was a technical problem.

“We understand it had a mechanical issue and diverted down to us”, airport chief executive Nigel Finnerty told 1 NEWS.

“We’re just in the process of offloading passengers now,” he said.

“Customs and MPI has just arrived from Queenstown and Dunedin.”

The airport does not normally have staff from these agencies so passengers have had to wait on board.

Qantas said passengers will head to Queenstown by bus.

Catering was provided to passengers while they remained on the aircraft.

The plane was affected by a wing flap setting, and it landed without incident. 

Qantas Boeing 737-800
Qantas Boeing 737-800 Source: Qantas