Air New Zealand donates thousands of blankets to charities tasked with keeping Kiwis warm

The blankets are no longer needed due to the cuts made to the airline's schedule.
The blankets are no longer needed due to the cuts made to the airline's schedule. Photo credit: Air New Zealand/SPCA

Air New Zealand is donating more than 8000 of its inflight blankets to charitable organisations that look after the vulnerable in our community.

The blankets are no longer needed due to the massive downsizing of Air NZ's schedule due to COVID-19.

New Zealand Red Cross, Middlemore Foundation, VisionWest, Foster Hope and Kidz First Community Health Services are among the groups who will receive the blankets

The donation has also extended to animals in need with the SPCA also accepting blankets.

Middlemore Foundation CEO Sandra Geange, says in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, those most at risk are those struggling with asthma, bronchitis, influenza and other respiratory illnesses exacerbated by the winter cold and damp living conditions.

"It's an incredible gesture at a time when it could not be more needed and welcomed. We will get these blankets straight out to those who need them the most - the young, the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and those living in unsanitary living conditions," Geange said.

Air New Zealand worked with its supply chain partners Altus Enterprises and Taylors Laundry to prepare the blankets for donation.

Air New Zealand General Manager Global Brand and Content Marketing Jodi Williams says while the blankets are no longer needed in the air, they can be put to better use by passing them on to those in need.

"At such a challenging time for so many of our Kiwi communities, when demand on charitable services is high and as the cooler weather arrives, we hope these blankets will bring some warmth and comfort to individuals and families in need," Williams said.