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Airline prosecuted for boarding unauthorised passenger

31 OCTOBER 2018

A Malaysian-based airline has been prosecuted and fined $9,000 for allowing a passenger to board a flight to New Zealand - despite being told by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) not to do so.

At Manukau District Court today, AirAsia X was fined a total of $9,000 plus court costs after pleading guilty to failing to comply with the airline’s obligations under the Immigration Act 2009. The maximum sentence is a fine of $50,000.

Airlines are required under the legislation to submit passenger data on people intending to board an aircraft travelling to New Zealand. This occurs at the time of check in so that any clearance requirements can be obtained on passengers before they board the airline.

Passenger clearance is obtained through a system known as the Advance Passenger Processing System (APP). Once the data is entered by the airline handling agent, it is sent to the APP system which is linked to INZ’s database. A message is automatically generated advising whether the passenger is permitted to board or not, whether contact with INZ is required, or whether there are any conditions of boarding.

The prosecution involved the case of a Malayisan citizen who attempted to board a flight bound for New Zealand from Kuala Lumpur in February last year.

INZ’s National Manager, Border, Stephanie Greathead says that at the time of check-in, the airline’s handling agent submitted the traveller’s name into the APP system and received a DO NOT BOARD directive.

“The handling agent then made several other attempts to check-in the traveller and then submitted an incomplete name into the APP system, before receiving a directive to “Board with Outward Ticket”.

“AirAsia X then allowed the passenger to board the Kuala Lumpar flight and travel to New Zealand.

“In this case the airline has clearly tried to override the APP system and ignored any do not board directives. This is completely unacceptable and is in clear breach of our border security measures and immigration policies”.

The passenger was refused entry to New Zealand on the day he arrived and was then sent back to Malaysia.


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