South American airline fined for allowing passenger to board flight to NZ

Latam Airlines was fined $9000 after pleading guilty to failing to comply with its obligations under the Immigration Act. Photo / Supplied
Latam Airlines was fined $9000 after pleading guilty to failing to comply with its obligations under the Immigration Act. Photo / Supplied

A South American airline has been prosecuted for enabling a Brazilian passenger to bypass a do not board directive for a flight headed to New Zealand.

Fairfax reported a Latam Airlines employee deliberately misspelt the name of a passenger, who had previously been refused entry into New Zealand, in order to fool the system into issuing an outward ticket.

The passenger arrived in Auckland, but was removed the same day.

The check-in system is run through Immigration New Zealand's Advance Passenger Processing system, which advises airlines whether a passenger can board.

The airline was fined $9000 at Manukau District Court after pleading guilty to failing to comply with its obligations under the Immigration Act 2009.

The maximum sentence is a fine of $50,000.

Immigration New Zealand national border manager Senta Jehle told Fairfax it was a serious misconduct for the airline to completely ignore the alert.

"INZ takes this type of offending very seriously as airlines have a crucial role to play in maintaining the integrity of New Zealand's immigration system and keeping the border secure.

"We work very closely with airlines to help this happen and it's very disappointing that we've had to take prosecution action."

Ms Jehle told Fairfax the case was particularly serious as the passenger had been refused entry to New Zealand in the past.

- NZ Herald

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