NZ offers seats to Pacific Islanders in Wuhan

NEW ZEALAND (31 Jan)  – New Zealand has offered seats on its chartered plane for Pacific Islanders stranded in China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the corona virus outbreak.

Most Pacific Islanders in Wuhan are students studying at various universities in the province, funded by the Chinese Government.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters announced Thursday that government will charter an Air New Zealand to airlift its nationals from the Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.

The aircraft will have capacity for around 300 passengers and will fly from Wuhan to New Zealand.

Officials will be working through operational requirements with Air New Zealand and Chinese authorities.    

“New Zealand will be offering any additional seats to Pacific Island and Australian citizens as a matter of priority, said Peters.

New Zealanders in the Hubei region who are registered on Safetravel have been emailed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to register interest in the flight, which is subject to Chinese Government approval.

“We are pleased to be have been able to offer this assistance to New Zealanders in a challenging situation,” Peters said.

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