Paperwork snafu forces Air New Zealand China turn-back

Pauline Gross
February 12, 2019

Flight NZ289 carrying about 270 passengers left Auckland shortly before midnight on Saturday only to return about 10 am on Sunday (2100 GMT Saturday).

In a statement Air New Zealand said the plane was new to the company's fleet, and did not have the correct paperwork allowing it to land in China.

The Air New Zealand flight was refused entry into Shanghai yesterday and had to turn back with airport officials saying the flight had no regulatory authority to land there.

The airline apologized for disrupting the travel plans of customers and said it knew they would be "deeply disappointed and frustrated by the situation".

China and New Zealand were quick to downplay the controversy.

"It's going to happen, it's just a matter of when [officials] can coordinate the schedule".

Air New Zealand began flying from Auckland to Shanghai in June 2006.

The National Party says it looks like New Zealand's relationship with China is deteriorating and the government needs to get its act together quickly to sort it out.

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New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reacts during a joint news conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, Belgium January 25, 2019.

"In the past New Zealand has enjoyed a consensus approach to foreign policy, a unified front, that's in New Zealand's best interests".

When asked about the status of the Huawei 5G contract, she said that data and security were the most important considerations, emphasizing that "it's not about vendor, it's not about country".

"This was very much an administrative issue", she added. "Is it part of the ongoing deterioration in relations between this NZ Govt & China?" It sometimes will have its challenges.

Ardern on Tuesday acknowledged there were "complexities" in the relationship with China, but dismissed concerns of a rift with New Zealand's largest trading partner.

The exhibition - featuring eight warriors standing 180 cm tall, and two full-size horses from the terracotta army, as well as two half-size replica bronze horse-drawn chariots - opened to the public on December 15 in the run-up to the beginning of 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism.

"Tourism is very important to New Zealand, but so is trade and our global relationship - I think that it's very concerning that Jacinda Ardern is the first elected Prime Minister not to visit China within the first year in office since before Robert Muldoon, that in itself speaks volumes".

Other reports by GizPress

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