2 Apr 2020

Air NZ slashes domestic flights by 95 percent

11:36 am on 2 April 2020

Air New Zealand is slashing its domestic operations in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Air New Zealand planes parked up at Auckland Airport during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Air New Zealand planes parked up at Auckland Airport during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Supplied / Air New Zealand

The national carrier this morning announced only a handful of return services a day will be operating from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin.

All other domestic services will be cut when the schedule comes into effect tomorrow.

Air New Zealand's chief revenue officer Cam Wallace said prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the airline would usually fly more than 400 domestic flights daily.

The new schedule represented a 95 percent reduction.

"Domestic travel is still an option but is extremely limited while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4 and we have updated our schedule to reflect this," he said.

"In the coming weeks we will be operating a limited number of flights a day using our A320 jet aircraft, as well as our ATR and Q300 turboprop aircraft."

Demand was down about 99 percent, he said.

"Kiwis are respecting the government's essential travel only advice, however, we still ask customers to please check they qualify to travel under the essential services list before booking a ticket or going to the airport."

Air New Zealand had also established a process where the airline would operate ad hoc domestic charter flights at the request of the New Zealand government.

Those flights could operate to all domestic airports in New Zealand within a matter of hours.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

New schedule:


3 return services Monday-Friday A320

1 return service Saturday & Sunday


1 return service seven days a week A320


2 return services Monday-Friday Q300

1 return service Saturday & Sunday ATR


1 return service Monday-Friday Q300


1 return service Monday ATR

1 return service Friday

Nelson-Tasman Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alison Boswijk said businesses reliant on air freight were relieved Nelson had remained on the airline's route.

Boswijk said Nelson was also a critical part of the Air NZ's domestic supply chain, as home to the engineering base for the turboprop fleet, "so in many ways they couldn't not come here unless they were to re-locate everything".

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