Air New Zealand will reduce many of its trans-Tasman services to just two flights a week and has suspended some altogether, despite suggesting on Monday that no routes would be axed.
The announcement on 17 March shows that overall Tasman capacity will be reduced by 80 per cent from 30 March to 30 June 2020. These include:
- Wellington (WLG) to Sydney: Reduced to two return services per week;
- Christchurch (CHC) to Sydney: Reduced to two return services per week;
- Auckland to Sydney (AKL): Reduced to seven return services per week;
- Auckland to Brisbane: Reduced to five return services per week; and
- Auckland to Melbourne: Reduced to seven return services per week.
Though the airline initially stated that no flights were to be cut, a number have been in fact been suspended. These include flights to:
- Adelaide, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Coolangatta and Perth (ex-AKL);
- Brisbane, Melbourne, Coolangatta (ex-CHC);
- Brisbane, Melbourne (ex-WLG); and
- Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane (ex-ZQN).
Though the changes are scheduled to take effect from 30 March through to 30 June 2020, Air New Zealand has indicated that they may be subject to further change if demand continues to fall.
On Monday, the airline also announced it would cut long-haul capacity by 85 per cent in the wake of the impact of COVID-19 on business.
Services completely cut between 30 March and 30 June include flights to major destinations (ex-AKL) including San Francisco, Denpasar and Tokyo Narita.
Due to the large number of schedule changes, customers are strongly encouraged to only contact the airline if they are due to fly within the next 48 hours or need immediate repatriation to New Zealand or their home country.