Air NZ to airlift Kiwis stuck in Wuhan

By Te Ao - Māori News

Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that the government will charter an Air NZ plane to airlift Kiwis stranded in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. Minister Peters issued a statement outlining the governments’ plans.

“We are pleased to be have been able to offer this assistance to New Zealanders in a challenging situation,” Peters says.

The NZ government is urging all Kiwis in the Hubei region (of which Wuhan is the capital city) to register with Safetravel, and keep their contact details up to date.

This will give us a better understanding of the level of demand for this flight,” Peters says.

Minister Peters says that additional seats will be offered to Australian and Pacific Island citizens as well.

“This is a complex operation as we work through all the necessary requirements but we are working to have the aircraft depart as soon as possible.”

Consular teams and officials are working to ensure that this flight home will not be another way for the virus to enter Aotearoa.

Those that use this flight will be required to pay a nominal fee, but the majority of the cost will be absorbed by the NZ government.

Minister Peters concludes, “The New Zealand Government would like to thank Air New Zealand for its support in assisting to bring New Zealanders home.”