Air NZ plane to Shanghai turned away over Taiwan reference

So petty, China.


NSFW    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — An Air New Zealand plane on its way to Shanghai was forced to turn back because paperwork for the flight included a reference for Taiwan.

According to Stuff, Air NZ flight 289 left Auckland on schedule, around 11:45 p.m. on Saturday. But four and a half hours into the flight, the pilot announced that Chinese authorities hadn't given the plane permission to land, so they needed to turn back.

The plane landed back in Auckland at 10 a.m. on Sunday. A passenger on the flight said they were offered a hotel room for the day, airport food vouchers, and a taxi voucher, and rescheduled for an 11 p.m. flight.

In an emailed statement to Bloomberg, the carrier said the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner assigned to the Shanghai flight entered its fleet late last year and hadn't been certified to fly to China.

A fresh application had been submitted, which included Taipei in the list of destinations it operates to. According to Stuff, "multiple sources" said China took the Taiwan reference as acknowledgement that the island was independent.

This is a sore spot for Beijing, who's basically been strong-arming international airlines and companies to refer to Taiwan as Chinese territory.

For the record, Taiwan is a democratically governed, fully sovereign nation. In short, not China's.
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