A Virgin Australia plane that left Adelaide Airport this afternoon was forced to return, following what airport officials said was a medical emergency.

Flight VA580 was bound for Canberra and got almost as far as the South Australian border when it was forced to turn around.

Paramedics are currently at Adelaide Airport, and the airline said the plane had landed safely.

The flight had initially departed Adelaide just after 4:00pm.

Airport officials told the ABC that the reason for the plane’s return was a medical emergency.

Virgin later confirmed that the plane had returned “due to an unwell crew member on board”.

“Virgin Australia flight VA580 travelling from Adelaide to Canberra was required to conduct an air return,” a spokesperson for the airline said.

“The aircraft landed safely back in Adelaide and emergency services are now attending to the crew member.

“We are currently working through re-accommodation options so we can get our passengers on their way to their destination as quickly as possible.”

Flight tracking websites show the plane turned back as it neared the SA border.(FlightAware)

Alison and James Haddy were on board when they noticed on the flight tracker that the plane was changing course.

“About 10 minutes later they announced we were going to descend into Adelaide because of technical difficulties I think,” Ms Haddy said.

Mr Haddy said staff mentioned a sick crew member just before passengers disembarked the plane, “but that’s all the information we have”.

“Last time we were planning on going to Canberra was when Adelaide then went into lockdown and all borders were shut so this was the second attempt to get to Canberra to see our friends.”