Key and Air NZ defend diverted flight
Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:38a.m.
Both Air New Zealand and Prime Minister John Key are defending the diverting of a flight to pick up the stranded prime minister from New Plymouth and deliver him home to Auckland.
The Mana Party's Waitakere candidate, Sue Bradford, says the incident shows Mr Key has "gone power crazy" and goes beyond National's "normal born-to-rule arrogance".
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Ms Bradford said a passenger on the Thursday evening flight, which had meant to fly directly from Nelson to Auckland, contacted her, angry that it was redirected to New Plymouth for "operational" reasons.
"Little did they realise that 'operational' meant their flight was diverted simply to pick up the Prime Minister. The whole flight was over half an hour late as a result," Ms Bradford said.
The Prime Minister's office said that Mr Key did not ask for the flight to be diverted after his own New Plymouth-Auckland flight was cancelled because of an aircraft breakdown.
It was standard practice for Air NZ to divert flights to pick up stranded passengers, the office said.
Air New Zealand, in a statement, said the cancelled flight was the last of the evening and there was no opportunity to transfer affected passengers to Auckland.
The diverted aircraft had spare seats for seven passengers including Mr Key and his entourage.
"Air NZ does occasionally divert flights to pick up passengers from cancelled flights if there is limited or no opportunity to re-accommodate those passengers onto other services directly from that airport."
Passengers were informed about the diversion before the flight, Air NZ said.
Mr Key has been criticised for his use of RNZAF helicopters and Beechcraft Kingair for travelling to his engagements.
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25/11/2011 6:38:48 p.m.
This is not even news. I think our journalists are getting desperate!
What credibility does Sue Bradford have?
25/11/2011 6:38:07 p.m.
vivieene stromberg wrote:
key is a media darling, if he is so far out in front why all the whoha, the media have thrived and kick labour for payment to key. key has now put the police on the media over the teapot saga yet they still kiss his ass, I THINK LABOUR SHOULD WIN.
25/11/2011 6:25:22 p.m.
Geeze get over it. If it had been a stranded businessman or tourist we would never have heard of it. If it was the last plane of the day the only thing they would be late for is bed. Diverting a flight that was going past the airport makes perfect sence, leaving New Zealands most important man stranded for the night or some late travellers half an hour late is a no brainer.
25/11/2011 6:02:11 p.m.
@wilbur. Don't be too harsh on jan below. He/She is a Maori supporter of old that chips in his/her 5 cents worth expressing his/her delusional views on a very large number of 3news stories. They never fail to make me laugh such is the nature of his/her rants. I can tell you that the bloodshed he/she refers to will be in reference to some type of Maori-related grievance she/he festers upon. Irrelevant to the above article I know but yet again has delivered me a riveting laugh. Keep it up jan... you can warm my heart by responding to this one.
25/11/2011 5:49:05 p.m.
john key is still pm, therefore is still running the country ....while doing the biggest job interview....electioneering. meanwhile the wannabees have time to pick on jk's every move.sad
25/11/2011 5:40:31 p.m.
why Iam i not suprised!!! First the tea cup saga now this.... when will it ever stop!!! hes starting to act like the biggest DIVA out!!! Just saying!!
25/11/2011 5:00:04 p.m.
Who in NZ would believe that trouble-maker bradford, she is still upset she didn't get the greens leader position ?!....silly cow !
25/11/2011 4:30:39 p.m.
Phil and Sue are right to be outraged. John should have learnt by now to have follow Helen Clarke's protocal in using very high speed police escorts. What was he thinking?!
25/11/2011 4:22:24 p.m.
The Guy is the Prime Minister. If that office doesn't deserve some extra service then everything we stand for as a country is a loss. Good on you Air NZ!!!!!!!
25/11/2011 4:18:29 p.m.
Molly, remember the speeding limo, the plane that waited in Christchurch, not to mention the vehicle waiting at Wellington so that Helen could get to the rugby game "in Wellington" on time when she was PMA Bowen, you should be a short story writer of dribble. Helen wouldn't have apologised and smiling / communication are not in her vocabulary ... LOL!!!
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