AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — Windscreen damage forces Air New Zealand flight back to Auckland.

Air New Zealand Flight ANZ99, en route to Tokyo, was compelled to reroute to Auckland due to windscreen damage. Having crossed Port Vila in Vanuatu, the flight reversed course roughly three and a half hours into the originally planned 11-hour journey.

David Morgan, Air New Zealand's Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer, elucidated that the outermost layer of the aircraft's windscreen had suffered damage. Although airplane windows are engineered with several layers for resilience, the standard operating procedures necessitate a return to a base for repairs to ensure passenger and crew safety, he explained.

The affected aircraft, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, was projected to touch down in Auckland around 4.30pm on Monday, marking a duration of just over seven hours from its departure time.

This incident mirrors a similar event last July, where an Air New Zealand aircraft performed a 13-hour circuit due to an in-flight windshield issue.