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A380 flight diverts to NZ Air Force base

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/01/2017

Aeroplanes - 13 Aug 2016 Emirates A380 airbus takes off at Heathrow Airport. © Dinendra Haria/REX/Shutterstock/Rex Images Aeroplanes - 13 Aug 2016 Emirates A380 airbus takes off at Heathrow Airport. An Emirates A380 aircraft had to divert to land at a New Zealand Air Force base after a Singapore Airlines A380 had a problem taking off at Auckland International Airport.

RNZAF Base Ohakea in Manawatu got 20 minutes warning the A380 passenger aircraft was coming, the base duty officer told NZN.

He said it arrived just after 3pm on Sunday.

The passengers on the flight, who had already had a long journey from Dubai via Melbourne, had to stay on the aircraft at Ohakea. After refuelling the plane was flown back to Auckland, landing at 6.15pm.

It had been scheduled to land in Auckland at 1.45pm but at 1.30pm a Singapore Airlines' A380 aborted a take-off there, after which the runway had to be checked.

It was towed away to be fixed and passengers on the flight, SQ286, remained on board for hours until it ultimately took off at 8.00pm.

The Emirates A380 is the biggest aircraft to land at Ohakea, dwarfing the US military Globemaster planes that have been there.

Ohakea is part of Operation Alternate, under which it accepts commercial flights that are diverted. It has handled commercial passenger flights before that have been diverted in bad weather but never one this big.

The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner. It is the world's largest passenger airliner.

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