Woman dies on Air New Zealand flight on arrival in Samoa

Woman dies on Air New Zealand flight on arrival in Samoa

Some airlines, including American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., Hawaiian Holdings Inc., Qantas Airways Ltd., Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG cooperated with China's wishes on reference to Taiwan before a deadline a year ago.

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.

Air New Zealand did not immediately respond to further questions on the incident.

"Midway through our flight, the pilot informs us that Chinese authorities had not given this plane permission to land, so we needed to turn around".

The issue reportedly involved documentation from New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority, which had been included with Air New Zealand's application to enable the plane to make a landing in China.

China has a history of demanding global airlines not refer to Taiwan's independence or nationhood on its websites or promotional material, and in the past has urged Qantas, Air Canada and others to change how it refers to the island.


New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in comments aired on a television channel, dismissed concerns the returned flight was a sign of strains between the two countries, adding the temporary plane wasn't registered.

The Boeing 777-219 Flight NZ296 from Auckland was due to land at the Faleolo International Airport at 2:10pm (Samoa Time) this afternoon and for passengers to disembark. "Them (the opposition) spreading misinformation around issues like this flight, I have decided I see it as irresponsible and a real departure from what we have experienced on foreign policy before", she said.

Exactly how much the difficulties in the relationship with China can be blamed on the Government is hard to know.

"Our relationship with China is a complex relationship and sometimes it will have its challenges", Ardern told TVNZ in an interview.

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.

Back in October, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis was so excited by the coming China-New Zealand year of tourism that he posted an official statement on the Beehive website. She said: "I have been issued with an invitation to visit China - that has not changed".

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