"They spent about an hour in the air, circling the airport trying to resolve the problem, going through the normal procedures, and couldn't get it right. So they elected to land without wheels on to the runway," Christoph said.

The plane had been heading for the northern city of Polokwane where Algeria were playing Slovenia.

The chartererd plane had 14 people on board, including 12 Al Jazeera personnel. Passengers left the aircraft through emergency exits after it came to a stop.

The aircraft had been removed from the runway and airport operations were back to normal but with a backlog of flights, said Christoph.