Air New Zealand has cut its domestic capacity by 95 per cent compared to the levels before the Covid-19 pandemic, said the airline.
New Zealand’s flag carrier said it is flying this limited schedule “to enable essential travel only and to keep air freight moving” from April 3.
New Zealand is now placed under Alert Level 4, which is the highest level of the country’s Covid-19 Alert System.
Under Alert Level 4, people are instructed to stay at home, while educational facilities and businesses are required to close except essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and clinics, as well as lifeline utilities. Travel is “severely limited” as well, with the country closing its border to foreign travellers since mid-March.
The table below outlines Air New Zealand’s domestic schedule while the country is at Alert Level 4:
|Route||Operation days||Services per day||Aircraft|
|Auckland-Christchurch||Monday to Friday||3 return services||Airbus A320|
|Saturday and Sunday||1 return service|
|Auckland-Wellington||Monday to Sunday||1 return service||Airbus A320|
|Christchurch-Dunedin||Monday and Friday||1 return service||ATR-72|
|Wellington-Christchurch||Monday to Friday||2 return services||Bombardier Q300|
|Saturday and Sunday||1 return service||ATR-72|
|Wellington-Nelson||Monday to Friday||1 return service||Bombardier Q300|
The airline has also reduced its international flight schedule to 11 routes.
Air New Zealand’s chief revenue officer Cam Wallace posted on his Twitter account that the airline has been carrying only 100 to 200 passengers per day recently.
According to Wallace, the airline only carried 147 passengers on April 4, the first day of its reduced domestic schedule for the weekend.
He added that on April 2, the airline carried around 165 passengers on 89 scheduled flights, with 20 flights flown with only one passenger on board.
As of April 6, there are a total of 911 confirmed cases and 195 probable cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, according to New Zealand’s ministry of health.
The airline advises passengers to check if they qualify to travel under the essential businesses list suggested by New Zealand’s ministry of business, innovation and employment before booking the ticket or heading to the airport.
Many other airlines around the world have been affected by the pandemic including Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, which is only operating three per cent of its services in April, while others have even temporarily suspended all international flying, including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Vietnam Airlines and HK Express.