A middle-aged New Zealand man has appeared in a Samoan court after he was allegedly caught smoking during an international flight.

Thompson Simon Collin faced one charge under Samoa's Civil Aviation Act 1998 after allegedly smoking on an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Apia.

The Samoa Observer reports the 50-year-old pleaded guilty to jeopardising the safety of the aircraft, persons and properties.

Collin appeared in the District Court of Samoa on Monday before Judge Leota Raymond Schuster and took the time to apologise to the court and the airline.

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However, Judge Schuster said the sentencing was to take place next week and "now was not the time for that".

According to the charge sheet, Collin was a passenger on Air NZ flight 992 from Auckland on January 21 when he smoked an electronic cigarette.

This action "jeopardised the safety of the aircraft, persons and properties on board the aircraft" the charge sheet said.

Collin was asked to return to the court next Thursday for sentencing, the Samoa Observer reports.