Air NZ flight turned back from China

12 February, 2019, 13:36 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Members of the Uighur community living in Turkey participate in a protest in Istanbul

"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.

The pilot later told those on board that "Chinese authorities had not given this plane permission to land, so we needed to turn around", passenger and American academic Eric Hundman told the New Zealand Herald. The plane, which has not yet been confirmed, returned to Auckland about five hours after it took off and that it did not have permission from the Chinese authorities to land.

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".

New Zealand said on Tuesday that an event to launch the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism 2019 in Wellington next week was postponed by the Chinese and Ardern told reporters that dates for her trip to China, planned for the end of 2018, has still not been finalised.

China's approach to Taiwan is well known, as is its strict approach to paperwork.

The source indicated that the airline may not have taken the political stance or "cast a political lens" that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAA) was wanting to see regarding Taiwan's status in the documentation.

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Jacinda Ardern denies there is an issue with NZ's relationship with China, after an Air NZ flight to Shanghai was turned back.

A month later Stuff asked Air New Zealand whether it had received any order from the CAA of China in regards to how the airline referred to Taiwan.

Ardern's plans to visit Beijing previous year were also put on hold due to scheduling problems, with her office saying in late November it was "difficult to find a time that suits everyone".

If National leader Simon Bridges really wants to convince us things would be different if he were Prime Minister, he should deliver a clear statement that he would support Huawei playing a major role in the 5G network, putting New Zealand at clear odds with the rest of the Five Eyes network. Both countries claim sovereignty over the other.

Although Air NZ quickly acknowledged an unspecified "administrative issue", the highly unusual decision to return to Auckland when the plane was already well on the way meant questions were inevitably aimed at the Beehive.

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