Air New Zealand plans ahead for a smoother summer
Over the next six months, the airline will operate a slightly reduced schedule of 1.5 percent fewer seats than originally planned, meaning a change to some flights.
Most customers who experience a flight change will be transferred to another flight on the same day for domestic travel, and for international travel, on the same day or a day either side of their original booking. Where customers cannot be accommodated within these timeframes, they may change their booking online, opt into credit or request a refund.
Those customers with changes will start to see them from today and will be automatically transferred to another flight. Those with further onward connections may also be disrupted and we will work through these directly with impacted customers.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says making these changes now gives customers advance notice and will help the airline provide a service that's more reliable during its rebuild.
"Like many airlines around the world, we've been ramping up our operation at a time when Covid and the flu continues to impact the aviation industry. Looking at the disruptions our customers and staff have faced over the past five weeks, we've made some adjustments to reduce short-notice cancellations in the months ahead.
"While we did factor sickness into our ramp up plan, we've seen the highest rates of crew sickness in over a decade. We see these challenges continuing not just for crew, but for our whole operation, and so we're making proactive changes to address them."
Mr Foran says reducing the number of flights means the airline will be able to have crew on standby to cover illness, which has not been possible lately.
"We're pulling out all the stops to minimise disruption and provide surety for our customers over the next six months. We have rehired or brought on more than 2,000 pilots, airport staff, cabin crew, contact centre and engineers, and we're going as fast as we can with recruitment and training.
"We're also exploring options to lease a crewed widebody aircraft for the busy summer period. We know customers want the Air New Zealand experience, and that's what we want to deliver too. But at the moment we're stretched to capacity and making sure our customers are able to travel is our top priority. The lease of an additional crewed aircraft may help us achieve that."
Air New Zealand's domestic and international schedule will be operating at 90% of pre-Covid capacity for the next six months.
What should I do if my flight changes because of these schedule changes?
If your domestic flight has changed and you have not been given a flight on the same day, then you will be able to request a change online under Manage my booking, opt into credit or request a refund.
If your international flight has changed and you have not been given a flight on the same day or on a day either side of your original booking, then you will be able to request a change online under Manage my booking, opt into credit or request a refund.
If you have booked through a travel agent, you will need to contact them if changes are needed, or to request a refund if eligible.
When can you get a refund?
For other controllable events like staff sickness, engineering or operational requirements, a refund may also be available when Air New Zealand is unable to provide an alternative flight within the timeframes stated above*.
For disruptions outside of the airline's control (e.g weather), where the alternative flight offered is not suitable, customers can opt into credit or if they purchased a refundable ticket, they will be eligible for a refund or where a refund is required by applicable legislation.
*In some countries, refunds may be required under applicable legislation.
Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.
About Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand's story started in 1940, first taking to the skies between Auckland and Sydney on a flying boat - a Short S30. Known for its warm Kiwi hospitality, today, the airline has 98 operating aircraft ranging from Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A320s to ATRs and Q300s, offering customers comfort in the latest most efficient jets and turboprops. It's a modern fuel-efficient fleet with an average age of 6.7 years. Air New Zealand's global network of passenger and cargo services centres around New Zealand. Pre-Covid, the airline flew more than 17 million passengers every year, with 3,400 flights per week. Air New Zealand was recently named the World's Safest Airline by the Australian rating service AirlineRatings.com, highlighting the airline's laser-focus on safety. This year, Air New Zealand won Best Corporate Reputation in New Zealand – 8th year in a row. Air New Zealand has a well-connected domestic business, connecting customers and cargo to 20 different regions around New Zealand. Internationally, the airline has direct flights to major cities across Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands and the US, and through its strong relationships with alliance partners, offers customers more choice and convenience to connect further afield to hundreds of destinations. Air New Zealand has a particular focus on sustainability and its Sustainability Framework helps guide the airline's efforts in tackling some of New Zealand's and the world's most complex challenges. Airpoints, Air New Zealand's loyalty programme, is seen as the most valuable loyalty programme in New Zealand with 3.5 million members. It allows members to earn Airpoints Dollars™ and Status Points for VIP benefits in the air and on the ground. Air New Zealand aircraft are proudly identified by its distinct tail livery of the Mangōpare, the Māori symbol of the hammerhead shark which represents strength, tenacity, and resilience.
About Star Alliance
Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of 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 recognized 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, Avianca, 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 Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries.