COVID-19: Air New Zealand suspending services to Melbourne

Air New Zealand is stopping flights between Aotearoa and Melbourne for two weeks as the city suffers a second wave of COVID-19.

The suspension went into effect immediately on Wednesday, meaning multiple flights scheduled for the day were either cancelled or will operate as cargo flights only.

"Due to Australian Government restrictions Air NZ will not operate passenger services from Auckland to Melbourne from July 1 to July 14," the airline said in a statement.

"The airline was due to operate two return services to Melbourne today. NZ123 from Auckland to Melbourne is operating as a cargo only flight, with NZ124 operating with inbound passengers to Auckland. 

"NZ127 and NZ128 today will be cancelled."

Air NZ says it received a directive late on Tuesday night that no international passengers are eligible to arrive into Melbourne for the next two weeks in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the local community. 

Parts of Melbourne is moving into a level 3 lockdown at 11:59pm on Wednesday after 64 new cases of COVID-19 were reported.

Air NZ says its contact centre is supporting those affected by the axed flights, but customers should be aware it is experiencing high call volumes.