Air New Zealand adds extra flights to clear backlog

As disrupted international customers continue to be rebooked onto alternative services, Air New Zealand is delivering more recovery flights from Japan and Samoa to bring home customers who have been stranded overseas due to recent Auckland airport disruptions.
1 February 2023
  • Recovery flights added to Samoa and Japan
  • 8,700 international customers rebooked
  • Airline's schedule operating as normal from tomorrow

As disrupted international customers continue to be rebooked onto alternative services, Air New Zealand is delivering more recovery flights from Japan and Samoa to bring home customers who have been stranded overseas due to recent Auckland airport disruptions.

An extra Apia, Samoa flight NZ6055 has also been scheduled for 2 February local time, providing an earlier travel option for a further 300 customers. An additional 787-9 service from Narita, Japan NZ94 departing on 6 February local time will fly 300 customers back to Aotearoa New Zealand earlier than expected.

The recovery flights are part of a wider effort from the airline to add more seats to bring disrupted customers home more quickly. They're in addition to previously announced extra flights from Los Angeles, Niue, Fiji and the larger aircraft flown by Singapore Airlines from Singapore.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says the airline's top priority is getting disrupted customers to their final destination as quickly as possible.

"We've pulled out all the stops to get our customers in the air. We've redirected Cargo flights to pick up passengers, called in favours from our Alliance partners, used larger aircraft and adjusted our schedule wherever possible to make it happen. No stone has been left unturned.

"Our teams have worked tirelessly to enable further capacity to be added so we can get more people from Samoa and Japan, which are two ports that remain in high demand with limited options - these extra flights will be a relief to those needing to get home."

Air New Zealand is now contacting all disrupted customers in Japan and Samoa to advise them of the extra flights and asks customers to bear with us as the airline's team works through the backlog.


Nearly all disrupted customers rebooked on alternative services

Air New Zealand also announced that nearly all 9,000 disrupted customers have been rebooked, with an estimated 300 still outstanding.

"Our focus has always been to prioritise rebooking our disrupted customers. Rebooking 8,700 customers has been a massive undertaking and one of our biggest rebookings in our history – effectively two customers rebooked every minute since late Saturday evening.

"We're continuing our work to rebook the remaining 300 customers. When this is done, we'll be turning our focus to responding to the other outstanding queries we've received and supporting all our valued customers. An enormous thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding as we've worked through this challenging time.

"I'd also like to again thank our wonderful employees, Alliance and travel agent partners who have supported us and helped complete this enormous task."


Airport still working through challenges

"While we are running our schedule as planned at the domestic terminal, things are still recovering at the international terminal. We understand that this has caused inconvenience for some customers and we're doing everything in our power to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

"We'd like to remind customers taking an international flight with us to please bear with us when checking in. Repairs are going well but many systems are still not yet operational. We have brought in volunteers from across the business to assist with check-in and baggage, and we appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we work through recovering from this unprecedented event."

It is the airlines intent to operate all services and the schedule will largely be operating as normal from tomorrow.



Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

Email: │Phone: +64 21 747 320│Twitter: @AirNZMedia

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, 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.