Coronavirus: Air New Zealand reduces Auckland-Shanghai services

The reductions will start mid-February, the airline says.
The reductions will start mid-February, the airline says. Photo credit: Newshub.

Air New Zealand says it is temporarily reducing its services between Auckland and Shanghai as it prepares for a decline in demand for travel between New Zealand and China.

The airline currently operates seven return services per week between Auckland and Shanghai. From 18 February to 31 March, this will reduce to four return flights per week. 

There is no change to the remainder of the airline’s schedule, including its Hong Kong service.

Air NZ's customer care manager, Doug Grant says the airline is closely monitoring the situation and aiming to minimise the impact on customers. 

"While our Shanghai services are at capacity in the coming weeks, with new group travel restrictions in place we expect demand may ease in the short-term. 

The airline says it will directly contact customers affected by these changes next week.

Yesterday Sichuan Airlines became the first airline with direct flights out of New Zealand to China to make changes to their schedule due to the coronavirus.

The number of major airlines suspending flights to China is growing everyday and includes Lufthansa, American Airlines, British Airways, United and Cathay Pacific.