Airlines open to restricting passenger flow – for now
International airlines are moving to help the New Zealand Government manage passenger numbers to prevent quarantine and isolation facilities overflowing.
But Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives NZ (BARNZ) says his members want to better understand what capacity the Government has for quarantine/isolation, so they can structure their schedules efficiently.
This month there are five airlines with international scheduled passenger services. They represent a total of 40 flights per week, with Air New Zealand landing 30 of them. This is a huge drop from the 29 airlines with more than 800 flights per week in to New Zealand pre-COVID-19.
“Airlines are prepared to help the government solve its temporary quarantine/isolation accommodation supply problem and will be limiting inbound passengers as needed,” Mr Tighe-Umbers says.
“However, there is a need for a structured process to manage quarantine, so airlines can set their schedules with confidence. International airlines looking to return to re-establish international routes and rebuild their businesses will consider New Zealand alongside other destinations. This country needs to work with airlines as it seeks to rebuild its connections to the world.”