First group of Air New Zealand employees to receive vaccine

Among the Kiwis prioritised to receive the first batches of COVID-19 vaccines are 3,800 Air New Zealand front-line workers, some of whom will receive their first vaccination tomorrow.
24 February 2021

They are part of the group which has played an important role in protecting New Zealand's borders and community.

Throughout the pandemic, Air New Zealand has continued to operate international flights to bring home thousands of New Zealanders from around the globe, including 29 special charter flights. On top of this, the airline has helped move nearly 53,000 tonnes of cargo to market through the International Air Freight Capacity Scheme.

Air New Zealand Chief Medical Officer Dr Ben Johnston says the airline welcomes the arrival of the vaccine and is pleased its employees have been prioritised to receive it.

"Our employees have been among the most impacted by COVID-19 safety requirements including following isolation protocols offshore, undergoing regular testing, wearing PPE at work, or isolating on return from duties, all the while keeping New Zealanders connected to each other and New Zealand connected to the world.

"We welcome the Government's decision to prioritise border workers for vaccines as a means of protecting the people who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19 in New Zealand. A safe and effective vaccine is a vital step towards the long-term control of COVID-19, and eventually allowing our borders to open to international travel."

All of the airline's cabin crew and pilots, plus airport, cargo and line maintenance employees in Auckland and Christchurch will be first in line for the vaccination which is happening in a staged approach over the next few weeks.

"While it's not mandatory, we are strongly encouraging our people to take the opportunity to be vaccinated as part of the prioritised roll-out. We are working hard with our people to ensure everyone understands how the vaccine works, the benefits of receiving it and key safety information so they can make an informed decision."

Air New Zealand Inflight Service Manager 787 Audrey Poskitt is among the first to be vaccinated and says she hopes getting this vaccine will help change the perception of aircrew who do offshore duties.

"Receiving the vaccine for me is about providing an extra layer of protection for my community, on top of the measures in place already.

"My husband is immune compromised, and when I come home from offshore duties, we often spend time in different parts of the house. By getting vaccinated, I'm helping to keep him and the rest of my whānau and friends safe."


Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

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About Star Alliance

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 19,000 daily flights to more than 1,250 airports in 195 countries. Further connecting flights are offered by Star Alliance Connecting Partner, Juneyao Airlines.

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