Special one-way services to Auckland and Christchurch will operate for at least the next 10 days.
Kiwis stranded in New South Wales can now book seats on “managed return flights” with Air New Zealand across the Tasman Sea, but they’ll have to spend two weeks in mandatory quarantine upon arrival. The first repatriation flights took off this afternoon, with one bound for Auckland and the other Christchurch. Daily services will operate to Auckland until July 18; another is scheduled for July 20, while the next flight to Christchurch will depart on July 23. It is not yet known whether these will continue beyond that date.
Seats will be restricted to the number of spaces available in managed isolation facilities (MIQ) rooms provided by the New Zealand government. Once eligible Air New Zealand customers have secured a booking, the MIQ space is automatically confirmed as managed isolation spots are assigned to each repatriation flight. Additional seats will become available as more MIQ allocations are provided in the coming days.
Leanne Geraghty, Air New Zealand’s Chief Customer and Sales Officer, said in a statement, “We would love to be able to bring more Kiwis home to their families, but we’re limited by the availability of MIQ spots. Only between 40–60 seats per flight will be available to be booked by customers as these are directly linked to MIQ spots.”
Geraghty added that the seats were available on a first come, first served basis, with about 20 percent of all spots in MIQ reserved for those entering on compassionate grounds under urgent and exceptional circumstances. Such travelers will need to apply directly with the New Zealand government.
“Our teams have worked tirelessly with the government over the weekend to get these managed return flights up and running so we can reconnect Kiwis with their loved ones. We recognize this is a very stressful and emotional time for those customers wishing to return from N.S.W., and we’re doing everything we can to get them home as quickly and as safely as possible.”
More information here.