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AirAsia X fined after agent overrode DO NOT BOARD

November 5, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

AirAsia X has been fined for letting a passenger board and fly after an agent overrode a clear directive from immigration authorities that the passenger should not board.

Auckland’s Manukau District Court fined the airline NZD 9000 for allowing the passenger to fly to New Zealand in defiance of the instruction .

The passenger, a Malaysian man, was refused entry to New Zealand on arrival and immediately deported.

The fine of NZD 9000 is comparatively light. It’s less than a fifth of the maximum for the offence, which is NZD 50,000 (AUD 46,180).

The incident happened last year and has been grinding through the legal system ever since.

As with Australia, airlines must legally provide data through the Advance Passenger Processing (APP) system on every passenger booked on a flight travelling to New Zealand. Airlines that do not provide APP on all passengers and crew, including transit passengers, may be fined.

The idea is to cross-reference the information with data held by Immigration and stop suspect passengers boarding.

In this case, when the passenger’s name was submitted it triggered an immediate DO NOT BOARD response on the screen in Malaysia. Instead of following that instruction, the handling agent apparently looked for ways to get around the warning, Newshub ZB in New Zealand said.

Immigration New Zealand national manager, border, Stephanie Greathead, said the handling agent 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.

”In this case, the airline has clearly tried to override the APP system and ignored any ‘do not board’ directives,” Greathead said.

“This is completely unacceptable and is in clear breach of our border security measures and immigration policies.”

AirAsia said it had undertaken a thorough review since, with spokesman Kris Taute cofnirming the airline had taken “appropriate corrective action”.

Written by Peter Needham in Paekakariki, New Zealand

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