John Travolta's much-publicised touchdown in Hong Kong never happened, it emerged yesterday. The Hollywood star was in fact refused permission to land his plane at Chek Lap Kok and had to land in Macau instead. Despite the fanfare surrounding the star's plan to pilot his Boeing 707 into the SAR on Monday as part of a world tour sponsored by Qantas, Travolta was forced to land at Macau airport because his jet was too noisy for Chek Lap Kok. The change of location was a repeat of an incident in April 1999 in which the dedicated pilot had to head for Macau to land his jet after failing to get permission from the SAR. However, at a media conference on Wednesday, Travolta, 48, gave an account of his view of Chek Lap Kok airport when questioned by the press, giving the impression he had landed his 30-year-old jet there. 'It's new and modern and very beautiful. And I enjoyed my landing, it was very smooth. I'm very happy with that,' he said. He also mentioned his jet had been subject to noise restrictions at the Hong Kong airport, causing him to land in Macau. But most reporters assumed he was referring to the 1999 incident, given his remark on Chek Lap Kok. A spokeswoman for Qantas confirmed yesterday that Travolta, who left for Tokyo yesterday, had landed his plane in Macau because the Boeing 707 did not meet some of Chek Lap Kok's landing regulations regarding noise level. 'He did mention at the press conference that he landed in Macau. But he wasn't extremely clear on that,' she said. She said it was not known when Travolta was told he could not land in Hong Kong, which was the seventh stop on his Spirit of Friendship tour that covers 13 cities in 10 countries. It is intended as a positive response to the September 11 attacks and to restore confidence in air travel. Hong Kong is so far the only stop where he has failed to land his jet as planned. The spokeswoman said there had been no attempt to cover up the change of location, although the South China Morning Post was told by Qantas on Monday that the media was not allowed to take a picture of Travolta after he landed 'due to restrictions from the Hong Kong airport'. Grace Ng, press officer for the Civil Aviation Department, said Boeing 707s had been banned from landing at Chek Lap Kok under a new regulation that took effect on July 1. She said the rule was not exclusive to Hong Kong. Joseph Tung Yao-chung, executive director of the Travel Industry Council, said it was a pity Travolta had failed for the second time to fly into Hong Kong, but added it would not tarnish the SAR's image thanks to the star's compliments about the city. 'It is after all an [airport] operation issue. He did say he liked Hong Kong and that helped to promote tourism. So on the whole, there should be no negative impact on Hong Kong's image,' he said.