As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the COVID-19 risk to aircrew, Air New Zealand will re-route its North America flights to allow aircrew to overnight in Honolulu rather than Los Angeles or San Francisco.
From Monday 11 January, aircrew on all cargo flights between New Zealand and the United States will overnight in Honolulu. North America passenger services will be routed via Honolulu from 2 February.
The changes mean flights from New Zealand will make a brief stop in Honolulu to change crew before continuing onto Los Angeles or San Francisco. Aircrew operating into those ports will then remain airside and operate the return flight to Honolulu where there will be a further crew change to operate back to New Zealand.
Re-routing North American flights through Honolulu means aircrew can overnight in a lower risk destination while still maintaining vital connections into North America.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says operating in a pandemic means the airline is constantly assessing the risks to its people and operation.
“While it’s important to keep trade routes open and passenger services operating for our customers, looking after our people is our first priority.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped us to move so quickly in re-routing our flights, from officials in New Zealand and the United States, to our ground partners and our teams who have worked through the holiday break to make this happen.”
Air New Zealand has worked closely with the unions representing aircrew to progress these operational changes rapidly for the safety and wellbeing of those aircrew operating into high risk destinations.
The airline also continues to work closely with the Government and Ministry of Health officials on safe travel protocols to protect employees, customers and the community.
Air New Zealand currently operates eight cargo and two passenger and cargo services per week between New Zealand and Los Angeles in addition to four cargo services between New Zealand and San Francisco and one cargo service from Australia to North America. Customers will not be able to end their journey in Honolulu. The airline will be contacting cargo customers and passengers affected by the changes in flights directly.
Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.