Passengers were quarantined on a plane at Christchurch Airport arriving from Australia after a child fell ill.

Flight QF139 arrived in Christchurch from Sydney about 11pm on Saturday night, and the pilot made the decision to put the plane in quarantine, a Christchurch Airport spokeswoman said.

It is understood the passengers were on the plane for about two hours, before being let off about 1am.

Airport first responders were not allowed on the plane, and St John Ambulance attended.

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The spokeswoman said she could not reveal any details about the child's illness.