Further evidence of international air travel’s post-Covid recovery has come from Air New Zealand, which has announced the relaunch of 14 international routes in 16 days.
The move means that from July 9, the airline will have three quarters of its international and domestic routes back in the air – with some popular destinations like Honolulu, Houston and Tahiti restarting operations after 820 days of being grounded due to the pandemic.
It will be the busiest July in two years for Air New Zealand, with it back to operating 60% of its international flight capacity.
“To bring one Boeing 777-300 out of storage in Auckland takes around six to eight weeks to get it ready for the skies,” said Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran.
“We’ve hired or rehired more than 2,000 Air New Zealanders across the business including 150 pilots, more than 500 cabin crew, and 270 airport employees, with another 1100 vacancies to be filled. It’s no easy feat but we’re getting back to where we were so we can give our customers that Air New Zealand service they know and love,” he said.
“We’re seeing first hand how keen people are to travel again, particularly across the Tasman. Come July, we will double our services across the Tasman and restart popular direct services like the Sunshine Coast, Hobart and Adelaide. By July 9, we will be back to all nine Australian ports which is an important milestone for us,” Mr Foran said.