Air New Zealand operation back up and running
- Flights have resumed to all ports today including New Plymouth, Napier and Gisborne
- Special assistance flight to Gisborne to begin reconnecting region
- 11 additional services added to support customer recovery
- 6,500 disrupted customers to rebook following yesterday's disruption
- Supporting national emergency response and employees in affected regions
- A total 821 cancelled flights and 49,000 impacted customers since Cyclone Gabrielle began.
Air New Zealand's international and domestic network is back up and running today. Flying into heavily impacted regions New Plymouth, Napier and Gisborne has also resumed with some minor disruptions this morning as the airline worked through operationalising the routes.
Following the increased wind gusts yesterday afternoon, the airline was forced to halt its domestic and international operation out of Auckland resulting in a further 300 cancelled services.
Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says while yesterday's gusts set back the airline's recovery from the initial cancellations, the network is largely operating as usual again today.
"With aircraft and crew displaced around the network, our morning operations were a little bumpy. But we're largely back in the swing of things today and are completely focused on customer recovery.
"We got halfway there yesterday with our restart but, as we have throughout the recent weather events, we put safety first. It's the right thing to do – every time.
"To have the airline operating largely as normal today is no small feat. We had to divert nine services last night to other ports like Christchurch and Nadi, rework our schedule to allow for the planes and crew we had out of place, bring a large proportion of turboprops back out of storage and then work to rebook and look after those who have been disrupted.
"I'm continually amazed by the resilience of our Air New Zealand whānau – it has been one of the toughest periods in our history and they have put everything on the line to help keep the business running and our customers flying. A huge thank you to them and our customers who have been incredibly patient and understanding.
"We're deeply saddened by the ongoing impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on those affected regions, particularly Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.
"We're ready and waiting to support the national state of emergency response and are talking to affected communities about how we can help. We're also supporting our own people who are still badly affected by the terrible weather. We will continue to monitor the situation and support wherever we can."
Air New Zealand, in coordination with government agencies is deploying a special assistance flight, carrying communication support, emergency supplies and airport operational staff into Gisborne at midday. The aim is to assess and secure the reopening of the Gisborne airport to reconnect the region with much needed support and supplies.
Huge customer recovery effort underway
On top of yesterday's disruption, the airline has had a total of 821 cancelled flights and 49,000 impacted customers since Cyclone Gabrielle began.
"We've again turned our focus to rebooking disrupted customers, with a focus on our 6,500 international customers impacted from yesterday's cancellations. We're looking at where the areas of greatest need are and will be adding services and changing to larger aircraft where possible.
"This may take some time, so we once again ask customers for their patience while we work through this."
The airline has added extra services to Nadi, Tahiti, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Apia to its international network as well as additional domestic services between Christchurch and Auckland to recover passengers that were diverted south. Extra flights to North America are also being explored.
Extending international flexibility
Air New Zealand has extended flexibility for those customers affected by cyclone disruptions up to 17 February 2023.
International customers can now change travel up to 8 March 2023 without a change fee, service fee or fare difference applying. If travel is only available in a higher cabin, the fare differential will apply. Tickets can also be put into credit towards travel within 12 months.
For those travelling domestically, flexibility applies until 22 February 2023.
Customers who booked through a travel agent or third-party online agent should contact them directly about making changes to their bookings or credit validity.
The airline's Travel Alerts page has the most up to date information on operating flights.
The airline is focused on managing these impacts for our customer and will not be able to provide specific flight details at this time.
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 104 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 7.3 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. Last 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. 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.