John Key's plane breaks down en route to India

McCullum and Key wait to reboard the flight (Newshub.)
McCullum and Key wait to reboard the flight (Newshub.)

A Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 plane has aborted takeoff twice at Townsville Airport in Australia due to technical problems.

It's carrying Prime Minister John Key, former Blackcap Brendon McCullum and a delegation of around 30 business leaders to Mumbai, India, to build trade ties.

John Key's plane breaks down en route to India

The plane on the runway (Newshub.)

A contingent of media, as well as the Defence Force cricket team, were also on board.

John Key's plane breaks down en route to India

The delegation waits for the problem to be fixed (Newshub.)

The planned stopover in Townsville was initially delayed by 30 minutes due to what the captain called a "technical difficulty which resolved itself".

The plane then taxied to the runway, and began the takeoff - but aborted after around 10 seconds.

A second attempted take-off also had to be aborted, and it's believed the contingent will be forced to stay in Townsville overnight due to technical issues and staffing requirements.

Mr Key's delegation has since disembarked the 757 and is waiting in a Royal Australian Air Force Base building awaiting further instruction.

MFAT and the NZDF will now re-evaluate the mission.

It's unknown what the nature of the technical difficulty is.

Newshub.

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