Air New Zealand customers will now be able to donate their frequent flyer points to three charities, which can then redeem them on essential services such as food, heating and petrol.
The airline said it created its new Carepoints program based on feedback from customers, and it will initially allow 150,000 “Airpoints Dollars” to be donated to KidsCan, Women’s Refuge and New Zealand Red Cross.
Air New Zealand general manager Jodi Williams said, “Each charity receives 100 per cent of the Airpoints Dollars donated, so gifting will enable these organisations help more Kiwis.
“Whether it’s food, fuel or DIY gift cards for Red Cross parcels, heating for women and children affected by violence, or food for the KidsCan food program, gifting Airpoints Dollars will go a long way towards helping New Zealanders in need.”
The business’ frequent flyer scheme is branded Airpoints and customers can usually earn more “Airport Dollars” by flying with Air New Zealand or Star Alliance airlines.
The move comes after previous coronavirus gestures including donating 8,000 in-flight blankets, now no longer in use, to organisations and shipping 2,000 treats, including 190 boxes of Cookie Times and One Square Meal bars, to essential workers in police stations, hospital and charities.
Earlier this week, Air New Zealand said it would restart its Wellington to Queenstown route on 28 May and add additional flights between Auckland and Queenstown due to strong demand.
The move comes days after it added Taupo and Timaru to its Alert Level 2 network, and will be seen as an encouraging sign customers are ready to fly again.
Air New Zealand general manager networks Scott Carr said, “We’ve been sufficiently encouraged by demand for seats into Queenstown since publishing our schedule for Alert Level 2 that we’re bringing forward the resumption of services from Wellington.”