Air New Zealand hopes Kiwis will return to the skies as overseas holidays return soon

A holiday overseas could finally be a reality again in a few months' time and Air New Zealand is desperately hoping to lure Kiwis back into the skies.

Its survival depends on it as the national carrier lost a whopping $376 million in the last six months of 2021 and its full-year result will be even worse.

"It's a real needle to thread isn't it, as an airline? It's probably as tough today as it's been any day through the last two years," Air New Zealand's CEO Greg Foran says.

On Thursday the airline reported a pre-tax loss of $376 million for the six month period ending December 31.

That's compared to the $105 million loss for the same period in 2020.

But it's not hard to find the culprit.

"August, into lockdowns, we were into Delta, and no sooner were we sort of out of Delta and we're into Omicron," Foran says.

Factor in that Omicron-shaped uncertainty and rapidly rising fuel costs, and full-year pre-tax losses are expected to exceed 800-million dollars.

"It's been a really challenging six month period and to be honest it's likely to be that way for the rest of the year," Foran says.

Foran says he's learned to put away the crystal ball - but knows an end to isolation would be to Air New Zealand's good fortune.

"Until the friction is removed around any type of isolation, your borders aren't really open," he says.

However, there is some optimism starting next week with the return of Aussie-based New Zealanders.

And over the next few months, Air New Zealand will resume long-haul flights to Singapore, Chicago and Hawaii, also starting up its New York route in September.

Kiwis are starting to dream of that long-awaited big trip.

"Where would you want to go? Greece," one Kiwi said.

"Oh, Japan would be sick," another said."

Italy," another person said.

"For me, personally - New York," one person said.

A bite of the Big Apple on the horizon - just once we get through this turbulence