Latam Airlines fined for allowing illegal passenger on flight to New Zeland
South American airline, Latam Airlines has been fined by the authorities in New Zealand after the airline allowed an illegal passenger to fly to that country.
Latam Airlines allowed a Brazilian national, who was earlier refused entry into the country, to come back to New Zealand. Officials said that an employee of the airline deliberately misspelt a passenger's name five times to enter a name that was not recognised by the system. Officials said that a check-in agent at Santiago airport entered versions of the passenger's name five times into the check-in system and the system responded with a DO NOT BOARD directive.
The check-in system is managed by Immigration New Zealand's Advance Passenger Processing (APP) system that advises airlines on whether to allow a passenger to board an airplane to the country. The agent entered an incorrect name on the sixth time and the system returned an outward ticket. The passenger was able to reach Auckland but was tured back on the same day by the authorities.
The authorities imposed a fine of $9,000 at Manukau District Court after the airline pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the airline's obligations under the Immigration Act 2009. The maximum punishment for violation is a fine of $50,000.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) national border manager SentaJehle"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."