Emergency services have rushed to Christchurch Airport after reports of a "strange odour" on a plane.
It is understood to be a Jetstar flight from Christchurch to Wellington, which had to turn around because of what a passenger, Press reporter Keith Lynch, described as a "strange odour".
The aircraft had left Christchurch at 7.30am for Wellington when a flight attendant reported a "musky kind of smell" coming from the main compartment of the plane, Lynch said.
The seatbelt sign had just come on for landing when the pilot came across the speaker saying they were going to abort the journey and return to Christchurch, he said.
Lynch said the incident was a "little bit unsettling" but all passengers had since disembarked the aircraft safely.
Two members of the Fire Service were currently on board, he said.
Another passenger, Tim Bloy, who was sitting near the engine, described the smell as 'burning toast'.
"It was quite mild. I definitely smelled something when we took off. It smelled like burning."
Bloy, who was travelling to Wellington for a meeting, said he was not overly concerned by the turn-around.
Fire communications shift manager Brent Dunn said earlier the local standby alert was received at 8am.
"There is a little bit of smoke in the cockpit of an A320 which is due to land in a few minutes," he said.
A spokesperson for Jetstar said there was no sight of actual smoke.
Two fire trucks and one command unit went to the scene and airport rescue was also on standby, he said.
Dunn said the local standby alert was the lowest grade of alert for an incoming aircraft.