Passengers cleared to board plane after security scare at Auckland Airport

A plane is at the centre of a security scare at Auckland Airport this morning. Photo / Richard Robinson.
A plane is at the centre of a security scare at Auckland Airport this morning. Photo / Richard Robinson.

Passengers are now boarding the plane at the centre of a security scare at Auckland Airport this morning.

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern said all passengers had been pulled off the plane and police, security and dogs were onboard.


Police said the Christchurch-bound plane was evacuated after a passenger received a non-specific threat by text message.

Authorities were alerted and the plane evacuated.

It was then checked for suspicious packages or devices.

Air New Zealand have now confirmed that the plane has been cleared and passengers were free to board.

"Customers on Air New Zealand flight NZ501 from Auckland to Christchurch were asked to disembark the aircraft following a security concern this morning.

"Aviation security and police have now confirmed the aircraft can be boarded again."

However, the spokesperson didn't elaborate on what caused the "security concern".

Labour MP Peeni Henare was on board and said the pilot made an announcement as the doors were about to close.

"A very polite and calm voice came over the intercom saying 'please evacuate the plane and take all your luggage'," he said.

Henare said passengers looked at each other curiously, but were told it was standard procedure for a risk of this nature.

"At least two sniffer dogs, several police and a swag of security staff... it was rather calm, it wasn't rushed or anything but just a heck of a lot of people."

Henare said it was the first time an incident like this has happened in his two years as an MP.

TVNZ reporter Jessica Mutch tweeted that passengers have been asked to get off the flight.

"Now security checks going on. No details yet."


- NZ Herald

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