Malaysia-based airline AirAsia X has been fined $9,000 for reportedly allowing a passenger to fly from Kuala Lumpur to New Zealand, despite that passenger not having clearance to enter the country.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) claimed that AirAsia, when checking in the passenger, deliberately attempted to override the Advance Process Passenger System (APP), a program that links to the INZ’s database to check for clearances before a passenger boards an aircraft, The New Zealand Herald reported.
INZ argued an AirAsia X’s check-in agent in Kuala Lumpur was given a “do not board” message upon entering the passenger’s name, but chose to resubmit the traveler’s information in order to override the system.
"The handling agent then made several other attempts to check-in the traveler and then submitted an incomplete name into the APP system, before receiving a directive to 'Board with Outward Ticket,’” said Stephanie Greathead, INZ's national manager of the border, to the Herald.
In doing so, the INZ feels that AirAsia X’s check-in agent failed to comply with the country’s immigration laws.
The passenger was turned away and sent back to Malaysia upon arriving at the airport in New Zealand.
A representative for AirAsia X told Fox News that the airline has taken measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
“AirAsia remains committed to the laws and regulation of the countries in which we operate,” said a spokesperson.
“Upon notification of this incident, we conducted a thorough review and took appropriate corrective action.
“As part of ongoing compliance measures, we continue to review both our internal procedures and ground-handler training to prevent future cases from reoccurring.”