Air New Zealand continues to work with the Ministry of Health to monitor the situation in regard to swine flu issues in Mexico and the United States.
The Ministry of Health has engaged with passengers who arrived into Auckland onboard NZ1 and NZ5 on Saturday.
Air New Zealand has been keeping in close contact with crew and also staff travelling on company business on these flights to ensure their wellbeing.
Group General Manager International Airline Ed Sims says that given health and safety is paramount and non-negotiable for Air New Zealand, as a precautionary measure, the 18 crew and two staff travelling for work purposes on NZ1 on Saturday have all been told to stay at home for up to seven days in accordance with Ministry of Health standard guidelines.
Mr Sims says the airline has assembled a specialist assessment team that is keeping a watching brief on the situation as it develops overseas.
"Air New Zealand has been meeting Ministry of Health requests to provide lists of passengers for particular flights that originated in the United States. Names have been supplied under the Health Act 1956 and 1983 Health Quarantine Regulations."
The Ministry has said it is contacting all passengers onboard NZ1 on Saturday through the use of Customs Arrival Cards, which contain the most up to date information for where passengers may be staying.
"Obviously there are also passengers arriving from the Americas on other direct carriers such as Qantas, Lan Chile, and also via Australia on United Airlines, V Australia, Qantas and Air Canada. Arrival cards are therefore the best means for the health authorities to track passengers coming into New Zealand from the Americas," says Mr Sims.
Meantime, Mr Sims says the Ministry of Health has advised that no additional cleaning of aircraft is required at this stage upon arrival into Auckland.
"This is not surprising given our aircraft are cleaned upon arrival in strict compliance with IATA requirements. In addition, our air conditioning HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters on Air New Zealand aircraft filter 99.999% of airborne viruses including influenza.
"In addition, Air New Zealand's standard operating procedures include checking passengers are fit for travel. Staff are being extra vigilant at check-in at US ports, especially with those passengers connecting from Mexico, following a request to do so from US authorities. A message from the Ministry of Health is also being read on flights from the USA prior to arrival."
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs, phone 09 336 2761
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