Air New Zealand has extended its international flight schedule through to 30 June 2021 in response to ongoing travel restrictions and low passenger demand.
The schedule aims to keep air links open for essential travel and cargo movement on key trade routes, according to the airline.
Air New Zealand’s general manager of networks, Scott Carr, said the carrier has been progressively updating its schedule over the past 12 months in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our schedule is driven by a number of factors, including airport take-off and landing slots, which generally operate on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis,” he said.
“This means if you don’t fly the majority of your schedule, you may lose access to airports.
“We have been waiting to receive slot alleviation for the April to end of June period, which means our regular slot times are protected even if we can’t fly them all.
“As this is now progressing, we are now able to move ahead with adapting our schedule through to 30 June to better reflect the low-demand environment we are currently operating in.”
There is no change to Air NZ’s trans-Tasman services at this stage. New Zealand currently has a one-way travel ‘bubble’ in place with Australia, with the expectation that it will become two-way sometime in the first quarter of 2021.
The airline noted that all services are subject to change in line with global travel and border restrictions.
You can view the updated schedule from 28 March to 30 June below:
Carr acknowledged the “very uncertain” times and trickiness that people looking to fly home to New Zealand face.
“We feel a responsibility to ensure Kiwis can come home and are doing our best to make this happen as smoothly as possible,” he said.
“We strongly recommend customers check government border restrictions for the relevant countries and/or individual passport requirements before booking a ticket.”
Featured image source: iStock/Rusell Hendry