For the second time in six months, an Air New Zealand flight to China has been forced to turnaround in mid-flight.
The first time, in August last year, was the result of an engineering issue. Last Saturday it appears faulty paperwork was the reason flight NZ 289 to Shanghai was forced to return to Auckland with its 270 passengers some hours into the flight.
The airline said on Monday that China denied the plane permission to land in Shanghai due to an administrative error.
Later it was reported that China was upset about a reference to Taiwan in filed paperwork.
China refuses to have diplomatic ties with governments that recognise Taiwan and has been cracking down on airlines that do so.
Qantas was forced into changing the way it described Taiwan from a 'country' to a 'territory' on its website, the ABC reported.
Sources told Stuff NZ that Air New Zealand officials were supposed to do the same in their flight paperwork - but someone forgot and this is why the plane was denied landing permission.
A special service flew passengers to Shanghai on Sunday.