The New Zealand government has chartered three Air New Zealand flights to repatriate New Zealand nationals stranded in India due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

One of the three flights, flight NZ1954 departed Auckland International Airport yesterday morning, according to the carrier, and two subsequent flights are due to depart “over the coming days”. Air New Zealand will pick up travellers in Delhi and Mumbai before returning directly to New Zealand.

Three direct, return flights have been scheduled between Auckland–Delhi and Auckland–Mumbai between April 22 and April 30. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has reached out to the airline for flight details.

All flights will be flown on Boeing 777-300 which can seat up to 342 passengers.

“There’s always an additional level of complexity to a repatriation mission when landing at a new location. Our teams are highly experienced in managing such a detailed operation, and we have been working closely with both governments to ensure safety is the number one priority,” said Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and standards officer David Morgan.

New Zealand’s flag carrier also reduced its international flight schedule to 11 routes last month.

Air New Zealand further cuts international flights over coronavirus