A ticketing error allowed Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific passengers to buy luxury first class tickets that usually cost $16,000  for just $675.

The carrier acknowledged the error on its twitter feed on Wednesday, stating "we made a mistake but we look forward to welcoming you on board with your ticket issued. Hope this will make your 2019 special too!"

The tickets are for flights from Vietnam to New York on Cathay Pacific for around $675 return instead of about $16,000 normally.

The carrier called the mistake a surprise special on New Year's Day; the airline's tweet said: 'Happy 2019 all, and to those who bought our good - VERY good surprise 'special' on New Year's Day, yes - we made a mistake but we look forward to welcoming you on board with your ticket issued. Hope this will make your 2019 'special' too! #promisemadepromisekept #lessonlearnt.'

The fares were not available on Cathay's website on Thursday.

A similar incident happened last year at British Airways' website. Passengers bought Dubai and Tel Aviv flight tickets for as little as £167. But the airline claimed the price was result of a mistake and cancelled all tickets. The airline offered customers a full refund and £100 vouchers.