Aucklanders pack out Auckland International Airport domestic terminal within hours of city moving to Alert Level 2

While the terminal may be full, it's not all good news for Air NZ.
While the terminal may be full, it's not all good news for Air NZ. Photo credit: Sam Murphy

Just seven hours after moving into COVID-19 alert level 2, Aucklanders were packing out the domestic departure terminal at Auckland International Airport, waiting to board flights out of the city.

Photos posted on social media show masks are being worn, however social distancing appeared to be challenging due to the size of the crowd.

The queues will be a welcome sight for Air New Zealand, but the airline will still struggle to make a profit on this morning's domestic flights due to social distancing rules, which dictate a third of the aircraft's seats must be empty. That figure is higher on its regional aircraft with half of the seats needing to remain empty. 

It is compulsory for all passengers and crew to be wearing masks while onboard or moving around the airport, a rule that's supported by Air NZ's CEO Greg Foran.

"All Air NZ domestic cabin crew and customer facing employees will be wearing masks and gloves, and pilots will wear masks when interacting with customers or moving through airport terminals," Foran said.

While Jetstar remains grounded under alert level 2, Air NZ has reverted back to the schedule it was running in and out of Auckland before this latest lockdown.