updated 11/25/2008 12:55:08 PM ET 2008-11-25T17:55:08

A U.S.-bound Northwest Airlines jumbo jet was forced to return to Manila because of a mechanical problem Tuesday, the airline and an airport official said.

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The plane was able to land safely less than an hour after departing from Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport, said deputy airport manager Octavio Lina.

In a statement, the airline said the Boeing 747-400, carrying 414 passengers and 14 crew, returned to Manila "as a precaution" because of a wing flap retraction problem.

The passengers disembarked while the plane underwent inspection and repairs.

The plane flew out of Manila again later in the afternoon en route to Narita, Japan, the stopover for flight NW002 to Los Angeles.

Northwest was acquired by Delta Air Lines for $2.8 billion last month, turning the two U.S. airlines into the world's biggest carrier.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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