Air New Zealand customer recovery well underway
Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says the airline refocused the international call centre team to focus on rebooking impacted customers which has helped clear the back log more quickly.
"The team have made great inroads working around the clock to rebook the 9,000 disrupted customers onto alternative travel. We have around 1,200 customers left to finalise travel for which is a great effort in a short time period.
"I want to say a massive thank you to our customers for their patience and acknowledge the huge amount of work our people and our travel agency partners have done to reaccomodate customers.
"We also know there will be some customers whose rebooked flight is further out then they would have hoped. Our next phase of recovery is to work through our schedule and see how we can get them home on earlier services, where possible.
"We're pulling all available levers to get customers on services as soon as possible. This includes working with alliance partners for them to use larger aircraft where possible and reworking our schedule to see where extra capacity can be added.
"Our friends at Singapore Airlines have upgauged an 777-300 to an A380 adding around 200 seats for our customers needing to get into or out of Singapore tonight.
"We've added an additional service from Los Angeles departing this evening which will get nearly another 300 customers back to Aotearoa New Zealand on top of the extra Niue flight scheduled for 2 February. And, our New York service tonight will stopover in Fiji to collect another 111 passengers on the way through."
The airline is also exploring the ability to add passengers to flights currently scheduled for cargo, and using larger aircraft within the Air New Zealand fleet – all opportunities to get people travelling as quickly as possible are being explored.
Many customers have taken up the offer of the accommodation goodwill payment of $250 per night and thousands more have used the flexibility options to put non-urgent flights into credit.
"We know this has been a distressing time for some customers, but rest assured we are using every available option to get them back into the skies and to their destination as quickly as we can.
"We're grateful for the patience and support of our customers while we do everything we can to recover from this significant event, and I would like to acknowledge and thank our travel agent partners, alliance partners and our Air New Zealand teams across the globe - this is a shining example of what people can do when we all pull together."
Through all of this we have maintained our international schedule every day since Sunday appreciating the airport did not open until 5am Sunday and many of the baggage systems are still inoperable which requires substantial manual handling.
The airline is keeping a close eye on the weather over the coming days and is working closely with Auckland Airport to mitigate any potential further flooding where possible.
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.