Air New Zealand will operate to the majority of its domestic airports when the nation enters Alert Level 2.
Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says the airline plans to operate around 20 percent 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. This comes on top of current flights to support essential service travel between Auckland and Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga and Napier, as well as between Wellington-Christchurch, Wellington-Nelson and Christchurch-Dunedin,” Mr Foran says.
“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. 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,” he says.
Mr Foran says 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.
“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.”
Mr Foran says that 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. 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
|Auckland to/from||Christchurch to/from||Wellington to/from|
|New Plymouth||Queenstown||New Plymouth|
Additional routes and frequencies will be reintroduced back into the schedule as demand permits and once it is clear exactly when the country will be moving to Alert Level 2.
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.