Air New Zealand relaunches 14 international routes in 16 days


Air NZ is pulling some Boeing 777s out of storage to boost capacity. Photo/Grant Bradley

Air New Zealand is preparing for its busiest July in two years, relaunching 14 international routes in 16 days.

With these routes back in service, the airline will operate 60% of its international capacity – the most international flight in the past two years.

Starting July 9, the airline will resume three-quarters of its international and domestic routes with destinations including Honolulu, Houston and Tahiti restarting after around 820 days of inactivity.

The airline is bringing back some Boeing 777-300s to bolster capacity on its network which has been under pressure due to high demand, particularly on the Tasman.

Chief executive Greg Foran said the airline is seeing firsthand how much people want to travel again.

“In July we will double our services across Tasmania and restart popular direct services like the Sunshine Coast, Hobart and Adelaide. By July 9 we will be back in all nine Australian ports which is a major milestone. for us.”

Getting a Boeing 777-300 out of storage in Auckland takes about six to eight weeks.

The airline has hired or rehired more than 2,000 Air New Zealand employees across the company, including 150 pilots, more than 500 cabin crew and 270 airport staff.

Air NZ's domestic operations have supported the business during the pandemic.  Photo/Grant Bradley
Air NZ’s domestic operations have supported the business during the pandemic. Photo/Grant Bradley

1100 other positions are to be filled.

RNZ today announced that Air New Zealand has used cash incentives of up to $1,400 to entice people to work for the airline. The airline had to urgently recruit call center staff after long wait times for customers.

Foran said it was not easy to get the airline back to where it was.

The airline had about 12,500 employees before the pandemic hit and it laid off about a third of its employees.

“Taking planes out of storage, bringing people back, opening ports and working with new travel requirements, there’s a lot to consider, and the Air New Zealand team is doing its best to make that happen as much as possible. quickly as possible,” Foran said. .

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