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Air New Zealand drops social distancing as restrictions ease

written by Adam Thorn | June 9, 2020

ZK-NHB Air New Zealand Airbus A320neo
ZK-NHB Air New Zealand Airbus A320neo (Craig Murray)

Air New Zealand has confirmed it will drop social distancing imminently after the country lowered its coronavirus restrictions today.

Now the country is in ‘Alert Level 1’, passengers will be able to eat hot food in the airline’s lounges, and unaccompanied minors can travel domestically again.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that, from midnight, New Zealand could return to mostly normal lives after its last remaining case recovered.

General manager of customer experience Nikki Goodman, said, “Our domestic lounges are open except for Auckland Domestic, which is undergoing refurbishment, and Wellington and Christchurch regional lounges, which remain closed at this stage.

“Hot food will be available again and served to our customers, while other food will be pre-portioned and available at the buffet.


“Inflight, customers would have noticed our food and beverage service resumed under Alert Level 2 with the exception of Koru Hour. We are working closely with our partners and suppliers to bring this back over the coming weeks.”

She also added that passengers could once again travel with pets as checked-in baggage.

Prime Minister Ardern’s announcement on Monday makes it one of the first major countries in the world to declare it has no active cases and life can return to normal.

She said she “did a little dance” in front of her daughter when she heard about the final COVID-19 recovery.

“At level 1, we expect the continuation of recovery,” PM Ardern said. “We will almost certainly see cases here again. That is not a sign we have failed.

“Now we’ll safely be able to fill those planes, fill those buses and cafes will be able to get a few more tables in as well.”

Last week, Australian Aviation reported that Air New Zealand was to significantly increase its domestic capacity from 20 to 55 per cent in July and August, including restarting its direct A320 service between Auckland and Invercargill.

Already, the airline is now operating to all 20 domestic ports it previously serviced.

Services between Christchurch-Rotorua, Invercargill-Wellington and Christchurch-New Plymouth will also resume.

The full network is published below.


(Number of weekly returns in brackets)

Auckland to/from:

  • Blenheim (16) Q300
  • Christchurch (59) A320
  • Dunedin (13) A320
  • Gisborne (23) Q300
  • Invercargill (4) A320
  • Kerikeri (16) Q300
  • Napier (36) ATR/Q300
  • Nelson (32) ATR/Q300
  • New Plymouth (25) ATR/Q300
  • Palmerston North (37) ATR
  • Rotorua (10) Q300
  • Tauranga (28) ATR/Q300
  • Taupo (9) Q300
  • Wellington (64) A320
  • Whangarei (17) Q300
  • Queenstown (47) A320

Wellington to/from:

  • Blenheim (17) Q300
  • Dunedin (19) A320/ATR
  • Gisborne (11) Q300
  • Hamilton (27) ATR/Q300
  • Invercargill (7) Q300
  • Napier (16) ATR
  • Nelson (33) ATR/Q300
  • New Plymouth (16) ATR/Q300
  • Rotorua (16) ATR/Q300
  • Tauranga (22) ATR/Q300
  • Timaru (9) Q300
  • Queenstown (19) A320/ATR

Christchurch to/from:

  • Dunedin (25) ATR
  • Hokitika (9) Q300
  • Hamilton (15) ATR
  • Invercargill (20) ATR
  • Napier (15) ATR/Q300
  • Nelson (25) Q300
  • New Plymouth (7) Q300
  • Palmerston North (19) ATR
  • Rotorua (7) Q300
  • Tauranga (10) Q300
  • Wellington (66) A320/ATR/Q300
  • Queenstown (18) A320/ATR



  • Departs Hamilton 7:30am
  • Departs Wellington 6:05pm


  • Departs Tauranga 7:00am
  • Departs Auckland 6:15pm


  • Departs Napier 7:20am
  • Departs Auckland 3:30pm/6:30pm

New Plymouth-Auckland

  • Departs New Plymouth 8:05am
  • Departs Auckland 4:25pm

New Plymouth-Wellington

  • Departs New Plymouth 7:30am
  • Departs Wellington 5:00pm

Palmerston North-Auckland

  • Departs Palmerston North 7:15am
  • Departs Auckland 4:30pm


  • Departs Nelson 6:30am/8:05am
  • Departs Auckland 3:00pm/5:20pm


  • Departs Nelson 7:05am
  • Departs Wellington 4:30pm/5:50pm


  • Departs Nelson 7:25am
  • Departs Christchurch 6:15pm


  • Departs Dunedin 7:00am
  • Departs Christchurch 5:55pm


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Comments (2)

  • Mike


    about time all Australian & all international borders were open as well. Has been a complete over-reaction to Corona & it’s costing us billions, we can’t afford & causing major social problems, every day.

  • Manasa Talakuli


    Thank you NZ

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