Air New Zealand has temporarily halted all inbound international bookings after a request from the country’s government to help it manage capacity in quarantine centres.
The move has led to angry complaints on social media from citizens trying to return home, while the business has warned its contact centre is very busy.
If you were working closely with the Government you would have been matching inbound seats for sale with managed isolation capacity months ago. Given what’s at stake it’s actually beyond belief that wasn’t happening.AdvertisementAdvertisement
— Kara Isaac (@KaraIsaac) July 6, 2020
Moving forward, the airline said would attempt to align arrival numbers with capacity at isolation facilities – a decision that may cause customers to be moved onto another flight.
Air New Zealand said it is proactively contacting passengers affected but has asked those who have booked via a third-party to instead contact their agent.
Outbound services leaving the country and domestic routes are not affected.
Air New Zealand’s chief customer officer, Cam Wallace, said, “We accept this is a necessary short-term measure given the limited capacity in quarantine facilities and we’re keen to do what we can to help New Zealand’s continued success in its fight against COVID-19.”
Thank you for your patience with us so far ❤️ We’re working hard to get through the huge volume of those needing assistance, but the wait times across all our channels are still much longer than we would hope. pic.twitter.com/ywyUfbfU25
— Air New Zealand✈️ (@FlyAirNZ) June 8, 2020
Yesterday, the airline finally resumed its A320 service between Auckland and Invercargill.
The announcement was in addition to a more general increase in domestic capacity on a number of routes, including flights to and from Auckland and Wellington, Dunedin and Queenstown, Wellington to Christchurch, and Dunedin and Queenstown.
In June, Australian Aviation reported that Air New Zealand will offer more capacity on its Auckland-Queenstown route during the July school holidays than it did last year.