Air NZ mercy flight from coronavirus-stricken Wuhan, China arrives in Auckland

Source: 1News

The Air New Zealand mercy flight carrying passengers from Wuhan, China has landed in Auckland. 

The plane touched down at Auckland International Airport just before 6.15pm today.

Speaking to media after the plane landed tonight Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said no one became unwell on the flight.

He said the Australian passengers will be transferred immediately onto a flight home and Pasifika passengers will be cared for and quarantined here.

Days of planning has seen 193 passengers land at Auckland Airport, 158 of which will be transferred by bus to a military base in Whangaparāoa north of Auckland on arrival from China.

Passengers underwent a gruelling seven-hour-long check-in process overnight before embarking at 6.45am this morning on the half-day journey from China to New Zealand.

Of the 193 people on board the rescue flight NZ1942, 190 passengers spent time in Wuhan. 

There are 54 New Zealand citizens onboard, and 44 are New Zealand permanent residents on Chinese passports. There are also 23, Australian citizens and 12 Australian permanent residents on Chinese passports. 

The 35 Australians passengers are being direcly transferred to a flight to Australia.

There are also eight British nationals, 17 people from 17 Timor Leste, 17 from Papua New Guinea, five from Samoa, four from Tonga, two from Fiji, one from Kiribati, one from Federated States of Micronesia, one from Uzbek and one Dutch national.

One person was stopped from boarding the Air New Zealand flight from Wuhan after being screened pre-flight because they were unwell.

Everyone else staying in New Zealand will be quarantined at a military base in Whangaparāoa, in northern Auckland.

Once home, after the quarantine period, they will have to isolate themselves for a further two weeks in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus.