Air New Zealand has announced it will operate to the majority of its domestic airports when the nation enters Alert Level 2.
In a press release this evening, chief executive officer Greg Foran says the airline plans to operate around 20 per cent of its usual domestic capacity 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."
Mr Foran says that during Alert Level 2, the airline will not be able to offer its normal cheapest lead-in fares.
“One-metre social distancing means we can only sell just under 50 per cent of seats on a turboprop aircraft and just 65 per cent on an A320," he said.
"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 –
Christchurch, Gisborne, Kerikeri, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Wellington, Whangarei, Queenstown.
Blenheim, Gisborne, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Taurqnga
Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, Palmerston North, Wellington, Queenstwon.