Air New Zealand To Bring Back More Domestic Flights

Air New Zealand will ramp up domestic flights once the nation enters Alert Level 2. A decision on whether the nation is ready for Level 2 is expected to be made this afternoon.

Air New Zealand will ramp up domestic flights once the nation enters Alert Level 2. A decision on whether the nation is ready for Level 2 is expected to be made this afternoon.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Cabinet Ministers will meet today to consider the gentle lift on restrictions and will announce the decision at 4pm NZ time.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran confirmed that the airline plans to operate around 20 per cent of its usual domestic capacity (compared to pre-COVID-19 levels) during Alert Level 2.  

“Alert Level 2 will see the return of flying to the likes of Queenstown, Invercargill and Blenheim in the South Island and Rotorua, Gisborne, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Whangarei and Kerikeri in the north,” he said.

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Karry On - Air New Zealand

“We’ve been keen to start domestic air services as soon as practicably possible to support New Zealand’s economic recovery and connect family, friends and businesses. But the ramp up to higher frequencies will be a slow journey and even when we come out of Alert Level 1, all of our domestic destinations will see fewer flights and reduced frequencies”.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran

“This is the harsh reality of closed international borders and a depressed domestic economy, with more Kiwis in unemployment and people watching what they spend”.

Air New Zealand will be working closely with Tourism New Zealand, regional tourism organisations, iwi partners and Government agencies like the Department of Conservation to encourage Kiwis to see more of the nation.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

“We live in the best country on earth and on our doorstep have world class accommodation, attractions and activities. We’ll be strongly encouraging Kiwis to support our tourism sector and to visit friends and family.”

During Alert Level 2 Air New Zealand will not be able to offer its normal cheapest lead in fares.

“One-metre social distancing means we can only sell just under 50 percent of seats on a turboprop aircraft and just 65 percent on an A320,” Air New Zealand’s CEO Greg Foran explained.

“On that basis, to ensure we cover our operating costs, we won’t be able to offer our lowest lead in fares until social distancing measures are removed.”

The airline will operate the following domestic routes while the country is at Alert Level 2.

Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand, Level 2 Flights.

Air New Zealand will restart services to Taupo, Hokitika and Timaru as demand allows.

The airline asks customers with existing bookings who don’t intend to travel to please cancel their bookings and opt in to receive a credit via manage booking on its website or their booking agent to free up seats to allow others to fly.

Before making a booking, customers are also reminded to check the latest information on the travel and transportation section of the Government COVID-19 website and the COVID-19 hub on the Air New Zealand website.