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And if you look out the windows to your left, you'll see ... a snake on the plane

IT was reminiscent of a scene from the 2006 Hollywood thriller -- but this time the snake on a plane was for real.

Passengers on a flight from Cairns in Australia to Papua New Guinea were shocked to look out their cabin windows to find a huge snake on the wing.

The three metre-long python appeared about an hour into the Qantas flight.

"Halfway to Papua New Guinea passengers reported seeing a snake clinging to the wing," Qantas said.

A crew member said that the initial reaction was "you've got to be kidding".

The stowaway was believed to have slithered on to the plane from scrubland or mangroves that surround the airport in tropical Cairns.

Qantas said there was no impact on the safe operation of the aircraft and the snake, unfortunately, was found dead on arrival.

Snakes On A Plane, which starred Samuel L Jackson, was released in 2006.

The film's director, David Ellis, died earlier this week at 60.