An international flight from Auckland to Hong Kong had to turn back after multiple bird strikes this afternoon.

Airways NZ spokeswoman Emma Lee said Cathay Pacific flight CX198 departed from Auckland at 3.51pm.

"It experienced multiple bird strikes shortly after take-off and the pilot notified air traffic control that the flight would return to Auckland," she said.

"The flight circled north of Auckland for around 20 minutes to dispose of fuel before landing at Auckland airport without incident around 4.40pm."

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Lee said there was nothing to indicate an emergency, and the pilot didn't request any assistance or a priority landing.