Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Safety is focus for Wuhan repatriation flight

The Air New Zealand aircraft operating the Government’s repatriation flight from Wuhan home arrived in Hong Kong yesterday afternoon.

The Boeing 777-200 was scheduled to depart Wuhan for Auckland before midnight last night local time.

NZ1942 Wuhan to Auckland is expected to arrive at Auckland International Airport this afternoon.

The flight will be operated by a team of 20 Air New Zealand employees who volunteered for the special mission. This includes five pilots, 11 cabin crew and medical and engineering staff.

Union safety reps and delegates are closely monitoring the safety of all cabin crew, ground crew, cleaners and catering staff involved in the Wuhan repatriation flight.

The union has been working to ensure E t≈´ Aviation workers have a voice in the preparations and that all the crew and passengers on board get back to New Zealand safe and sound.

"Union workplace leaders are focussed on ensuring New Zealand aviation safety standards are maintained so that the flight can happen as soon as it gets clearance," says E t≈´ head of aviation Savage.

"Both E t≈´ and Air New Zealand will work productively to deal with any unexpected operational changes that might arise. We look forward to the flight completing its mission and returning to New Zealand tonight."

Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and standards officer Captain David Morgan says there will be New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Island nationals on the flight back from Wuhan.

“We are pleased to be able to support the New Zealand Government with the repatriation of New Zealanders and other foreign nationals from Wuhan in China’s Hubei province," he says.

“The Air New Zealand crew who have volunteered for this flight are amongst some of our most experienced pilots and crew. They will be under the command of a captain who has more than 30 years’ experience with the airline."

David says the wellbeing of passengers and crew is Air New Zealand’s top priority and it is implementing infection control measures advised by the Ministry of Health and the airline’s chief medical officer.

“There will be minimal interaction between cabin crew and passengers, and pilots will not come into contact with passengers. Crew will wear appropriate personal protection gear while assisting passengers during the service.”

David thanked Chinese officials and New Zealand Government representatives for their efforts to facilitate the necessary approvals to make the repatriation flight happen.

“We have been highly impressed by the way in which Chinese officials have put the necessary approvals in place given the extra ordinary circumstance that they are dealing with in Wuhan,” he says.

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