Auckland - On March 28, an Air New Zealand flight was delayed due to a passenger who had a gun in his checked-in baggage.
A spokesperson for the airline said that no one attempted to board the flight with a firearm. The gun was in a checked-in baggage that was already sent to the cargo section of the aircraft with others.
The owner of the firearm had already boarded the flight. He and a few passengers traveling with him were re-booked on a later flight.
Aviation Security said that the firearm was identified in a bag in the hold of the flight bound for Christchurch.
"Precautionary checks were carried out and determined that the firearm was being lawfully transported. The firearm was not in the cabin and there was no risk to passengers." a spokesman for the AvSec said.
A passenger said the pilot informed other passengers on the plane that a person had a rifle in his checked-in baggage.
After the removal request by AvSec, an Air New Zealand ground staff member boarded the plane and asked six people to disembark.
The aircraft took off with delay after all six passengers and their baggage taken off of the aircraft.
In New Zealand, passengers are allowed to carry firearms in their checked-in baggage under some conditions.
These include telling the airline of your purpose to bring a firearm during the booking and keeping it in a locked case with ammo in a separate container.
The passenger who spoke to the local media has also said that the pilot told passengers the action was taken in light of the terrorist attack in Christchurch. On March 16, a far-right terrorist had killed 50 people praying in two mosques in Christchurch.