“The move is to help ensure the country is able to provide quarantine accommodation for inbound passengers for the required 14-day period,” said the airline.
As well as the temporary hold on new bookings for the next three weeks, New Zealand’s flag carrier said it is also looking at aligning daily arrivals with the capacity available at managed isolation facilities. This may mean some customers will need to be moved to another flight, it said.
New Zealand moved to alert level 1 in June, the lowest level in its four-tier alert system. Under alert level 1, borders remain closed to foreign nationals.
New Zealand citizens and residents may return to the country but will be subject to restrictions upon entry, according to New Zealand’s government. All people arriving in New Zealand are required to undergo either quarantine or managed isolation for 14 days, according to the New Zealand government’s website.
Air New Zealand Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Cam Wallace says the airline has been working closely with the government to understand how it can support the government’s efforts to contain Covid-19 at the border.
“We accept this is a necessary short-term measure given the limited capacity in quarantine facilities and we’re keen to do what we can to help New Zealand’s continued success in its fight against Covid-19,” he said.
The airline said it is also contacting customers affected by these changes, and that the Air New Zealand contact centre is currently experiencing very high demand. The carrier noted that customers are also welcome to contact the airline via its social media channels. Customers booked via a travel agent, including a third-party website “should speak directly with their agent”.
Outbound Air New Zealand services from New Zealand to international ports are not affected by the New Zealand government restrictions. Domestic services are not impacted.
The carrier said it will update its Covid-19 information hub with more information on these changes.