1 Jan 2021

Large haul of New Zealand produce takes flight

4:38 pm on 1 January 2021

Air New Zealand is set to haul 2,500,000 kilograms of Kiwi cherries to markets in Asia this month - the equivalent of around 21 Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

Cherries on tree.

2,500,000 kilograms of Kiwi cherries is set to be hauled into Asia this month. Photo: 123RF

More than 1,000,000 kgs of lamb made it to the UK in time for Christmas, and more than 11,000 tonne of capsicum are to be air-freighted to Japan and Australia between now and March.

Air New Zealand general manager of cargo Anna Palairet said it played a vital role in keeping the airline afloat when much of the passenger network had not been operating due to global travel restrictions related to Covid-19.

Cargo has played a big role in helping maintain international trade links at a time when global supply chains were heavily disrupted.

"Our busy season runs from November through to March and between then, we have Christmas and the Chinese New Year when a lot of New Zealand produce is in high demand."

The airline would also fly around 450,000 kilograms of mail in and out of New Zealand this summer.