Air NZ adds 31 red flights ahead of MIQ room release

Source: 1News

Air New Zealand has announced an additional 31 'red' flights to their schedule in December for those wishing to return from Australia before the end of the year.

Auckland Airport (IATA: AKL, ICAO: NZAA) is the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand, with 16,487,648 (9,005,612 international and 7,482,036 domestic) passengers in the year ended December 2015. The airport is located near Mangere, a residential suburb and Airport Oaks, a service hub suburb 21 kilometres (13 mi) south of Auckland city centre. It is both a domestic and international hub for Air New Zealand and as the New Zealand hubs of Virgin Australia and Jetstar Airways.  Air New Zealand originated in 1940 as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), a company operating trans-Tasman flights between New Zealand and Australia. TEAL became wholly owned by the New Zealand government in 1965, whereupon it was renamed Air New Zealand. The airline served international routes until 1978, when the government merged it and the domestic New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NAC) into a single airline under the Air New Zealand name. Air New Zealand was privatised in 1989, but returned to majority government ownership in 2001 after near bankruptcy due to the failed tie up with Australian carrier Ansett Australia. In the 2015 financial year to June, Air New Zealand carried 14.29 million passengers.

It comes as the Government is set to release another 3800 MIQ rooms at 6pm on Tuesday for places in the final three months of the year.

The ‘red’ (quarantine) flights will sit alongside the current ‘green’ (quarantine free) flights available in the booking system and will be labelled accordingly. The airline’s ‘red’ services flight numbers will start with NZ8, the ‘green’ services will start with NZ1.

As quarantine-free travel with Australia is paused up until the end of November, the airline still has green (quarantine-free) flights available to book from December.

Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty says so long as there are MIQ spaces available in New Zealand, the airline will continue to operate flights to reconnect customers with their friends and whānau.

“We understand this continues to be a very distressing time for people trying to get home. We’re committed to doing everything we can to get customers back to where they need to be as safely and quickly as possible," she said.

“There are plenty of seats available so we are confident that if customers secure an MIQ space they will be able to book onto one of our red flights.

“As we head toward Christmas and summer holidays we are looking forward to reconnecting customers with their loved ones in Aotearoa.”

December red flight schedule:

NZ886 MEL-AKL Wed + Sun 12.20pm 1-29 December

NZ862 SYD-AKL Mon + Thu 2.45pm 2-30 December

NZ846 BNE-AKL Tue + Sat 3.40pm 4-28 December

NZ864 SYD-AKL Fri 12.45pm 3-31 December

NZ840 BNE-AKL Sat 11.40am 11 and 25 December