Air NZ aircrew will stay overnight in Honolulu rather than on mainland America as part of the airline’s efforts to reduce the Covid-19 risk.
From January 11, aircrew on all cargo flights between NZ and the USA will overnight in Honolulu. Passenger services will be routed via Honolulu from 2 February.
The changes mean flights from NZ will make a brief stop in Honolulu to change crew before continuing onto LA or San Francisco.
Crew would then operate the return flight from California to Honolulu, where another crew change would occur.
Hawaii is a lower risk destination than mainland USA.
Customers will not be able to end their journey in Honolulu.
Air NZ CEO Greg Foran said staff were the main consideration behind the decision.
“While it’s important to keep trade routes open and passenger services operating for our customers, looking after our people is our first priority,” he said.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped us to move so quickly in re-routing our flights, from officials in New Zealand and the United States, to our ground partners and our teams who have worked through the holiday break to make this happen.”
The airline also continues to work closely with the Government and Ministry of Health officials on safe travel protocols to protect employees, customers and the community.
Eight cargo and two passenger and cargo services fly between NZ and LA each week, in addition to four cargo services between NZ and San Francisco and one cargo service from Australia to North America.