Air New Zealand will resume flying all of its Auckland domestic routes when the region moves to Alert Level 2 on Monday, August 31st.
The airline has been operating a reduced domestic schedule in and out of Auckland while it has been at Alert Level 3, although the majority of the rest of its domestic network has remained unchanged but with physical distancing in place.
From Monday it will also be mandatory for customers traveling during Alert Level 2 to wear a face-covering while on board.
It says passengers are encouraged to bring their own, or a mask will be provided by the airline prior to boarding.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said while there will be more flights to and from Auckland, physical distancing will be in place across the airline’s domestic network so there will be fewer seats available for passengers.
“Physical distancing means we can only sell just under 50 percent of seats on a turboprop aircraft and just 65 percent on an A320 which also means we won’t be able to offer our lowest lead-in fares until physical distancing measures are removed. This has put huge pressure on our business as it means we need to move some of our customers to other flights. We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding while we work through these changes.
“When it comes to face coverings, this has been a requirement for those flying out of Auckland during Alert Level 3 and our customers have been really cooperative to date. We support the government’s move to mandate the wearing of face coverings on public transport at Alert Level 2 from next week.
“All Air New Zealand domestic cabin crew and front of house employees will be wearing masks and gloves, and pilots will wear masks when interacting with customers or moving through airport terminals.”
Air New Zealand has extended fare flexibility through until 11:59pm Sunday 6 September.
Passengers who hold a ticket booked directly with Air New Zealand for a domestic flight up until this date may opt to hold their fare in credit and can do this via the airline’s online booking tool while those who have booked via a travel agent should speak with their agent to cancel their booking.
Passengers who no longer plan to travel are asked to do this as soon as possible to help the airline ensure physical distancing is possible and for other customers who need to travel.
Air New Zealand already has a number of safety measures in place to keep passengers and staff safe which will continue in Alert Level 2. These include:
- Passengers are encouraged to check in for their flight via the Air New Zealand app, and allow extra time to process through check-in and security.
- For those checking in at larger airports, every second self-service kiosk will be operating to support physical distancing. There will also be floor markers for queuing at check-in counters, service desks, bag drops and departure gates, and fewer customers will be boarded and disembarked at a time.
- Inflight, seating will be allocated to allow an empty seat between customers travelling alone. The airline will aim to keep families and some travelling companions together, so there may be some people sitting together with no additional space between them.
- Food and beverage services on all domestic flights will not be available to minimise contact between customers and cabin crew. Customers should let cabin crew know if they would like a cup of water.
- Jet aircraft cabins have hospital operating theatre-grade HEPA filters installed, which filter out viruses.
Air New Zealand’s Auckland lounges and valet parking will reopen from Monday 31 August. Masks will be available for customers at all lounges. Due to capacity restrictions under Alert Level 2, the maximum number of people able to access any of the airline’s lounges is capped at 100.