A Virgin Australia flight from Auckland to Apia has returned to Auckland due to a technical fault.

Flight VA91 left Auckland Airport at 5.35pm, an hour later than originally scheduled, and was redirected back to Auckland about an hour later.

A Virgin Australia spokesman said there was a minor mechanical or engineering issue on the aircraft and it was returned as a precautionary measure.

Engineers would be looking over the aircraft, but the fault was not an operational issue.

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Auckland Airport was advised immediately, and the plane was making a standard normal landing. Passengers would be booked on the next available flight.