Air New Zealand flight from Singapore to Auckland has just four passengers onboard

The airline has announced its interim international schedule.
The airline has announced its interim international schedule. Photo credit: Twitter/Philip Kirk

"Would you like an upgrade?" They're the words that every economy passenger dreams of hearing, but on a recent flight from Singapore to Auckland upgrades were essentially compulsory.

Flight NZ283 left Singapore at 6.40pm local time and arrived in Auckland at 9.20am, with at least 15 cabin crew onboard serving a grand total of just four passengers.

Crew and passengers photos on social media of the almost empty flight and despite the uncertain times ahead for the airline and its staff, everyone onboard appeared to be in high spirits.

Technical pilot Philip Kirk tweeted about just how much things have changed in the past few weeks.

"Changi is apocalyptic like," he said.

"Noted an aircraft movement about once every 20 mins, predominantly cargo aircraft."

That means there's a plane leaving every 20 minutes at an airport that would usually see a departure every 60 seconds.

Until the coronavirus crisis hit the airline industry, there were three daily flights between Auckland and Singapore. In the new, temporary Air NZ international schedule released on Wednesday night, there are none.

Earlier this week, Air NZ's London-based crew flew between Los Angeles and London for the last time. The airline's London service was due to finish in October, but has been suspended due to impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.