Air NZ

Govt increases Air NZ loan by $600m

The national carrier had initially planned to tap shareholders for a cash injection around June.

However, the company has delayed that until late September as it assesses recent developments such as the vaccine roll-out, an extension to the airfreight capacity scheme, and the opening of a trans-Tasman bubble.

"These developments are good news and fundamental to Air New Zealand's return to success, but the storm hasn't cleared yet," Air New Zealand chair Therese Walsh said.

Air NZ ditches Honolulu layover plans after it 'encountered blocks'

On January 5 the national carrier issued a media release that said in an effort to reduce the Covid-19 risk to aircrew, Air New Zealand would re-route its North America flights to allow crew to overnight in Honolulu rather than Los Angeles or San Francisco.

All cargo flights between New Zealand and the United States would overnight in Honolulu from January 11 and North America passenger services would be routed via Honolulu from February 2.

However, the layovers have not happened because Air New Zealand wasn’t permitted to complete a technical stop in Honolulu.

Air NZ suspends trans-Tasman flights as Australia responds to Auckland Covid-19 'hotspot'

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the airline had suspended quarantine-free services to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane until Sunday following new border rules set by Australia’s state and federal governments regarding anyone who has been in Auckland recently.

“Once more information is known about current restrictions, we will update our schedule and customers accordingly.”

Air NZ to trial digital health passport for safer travel during Covid-19

The national carrier will trial the digital “Travel Pass” app developed by International Air Transport Association on its Auckland-Sydney route in April. The app was launched by the airline lobby group in late 2020 and is being trialled by other airlines including Singapore Airlines and Emirates.

The app allows travellers to securely store and present information related to Covid-19 tests, as well as their vaccination status. The travel industry hopes the Travel Pass will give governments the confidence to re-open borders, and passengers the confidence to travel.

Air New Zealand taps into government loan

The government gave the airline a $900m standby loan in March when Covid-19 hit, closing borders and ending virtually all international air travel.

The airline's chair Dame Therese Walsh said at its annual meeting it has about $1 billion in reserves, including the government loan, which it has started to tap into.

"We have recently drawn down on a portion of the loan and will continue to draw incremental amounts on an as needed basis to ensure we are not paying more interest than necessary."