Air New Zealand plane takes off from Auckland, lands in scandal

13 February, 2019, 07:15 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Flight NZ289 carrying about 270 passengers left Auckland shortly before midnight yesterday only to return about 10am today. — Reuters pic

Calls to the civil aviation administration were not answered. "A permitting issue, supposedly", one passenger, Eric Hundman, told the New Zealand Herald.

Air New Zealand did not immediately respond to further questions on the incident. The airline said that all passengers have since been able to arrive in Shanghai via other flights. "As you were advised onboard, the aircraft operating your flight did not have regulatory approval to land in China and was required to return to Auckland", the message from the airline said.

Ardern said Monday the issue was that all aircraft flying into China need to be registered, and the Air New Zealand plane wasn't.

However the issue which caused the Air New Zealand flight to return to Auckland was likely to have happened irrespective of the current questions, due to China's sensitivity.

The incident marks yet another arbitrary move by Beijing to impose its ideology upon foreign companies, following the CAA order on April 24 of past year that forced airlines to refer to Taiwan as part of China on their websites, which the U.S. White House called "Orwellian nonsense".

An worldwide flight from Auckland to Shanghai has turned around mid-air and returned to New Zealand, sparking concerns over increasingly frosty relations between the two countries and setting off a political war of words. The flight returned to Auckland.

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Opposition National Party leader Simon Bridges blamed Ms Ardern and her deputy Winston Peters for "steadily deteriorating relations" with China, and said ties were at the worst point ever.

"In the past, New Zealand has enjoyed a consensus approach to foreign policy, a unified front. But they (China) remain an incredibly important economic and people-to-people partner", she stressed, citing the ongoing exhibition of China's famed Terracotta Warriors at the National Museum of New Zealand as a sign of strong ties.

As to when she would be visiting Beijing, Ardern failed to give a specific date.

The United States, Australia and New Zealand have all blocked or limited the use of Huawei equipment as the company eyes a global toehold for 5G technology.

A major joint tourism event to be unveiled in Wellington between the two countries has also been postponed, with reports that China refused to send any government ministers to attend.

"I have been issued with an invitation to visit China, that has not changed".

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