COVID-19: Air New Zealand, Jetstar announce changes as Auckland re-enters alert level 3

Air New Zealand and Jetstar have both announced how they're reacting to the Government's Tuesday night announcement of new COVID-19 cases in Aotearoa.

The airlines are offering hold fares or credit vouchers for customers who were looking to travel in and out of Auckland while the new restrictions are in place, but neither announcement says they'll be offering refunds.

Air NZ and Jetstar have now made face masks mandatory for all flights departing Auckland and strongly recommend their use on all other routes. Customers on a flight where they're required to wear a mask will be provided one if they don't have their own.

From lunchtime on Wednesday when Auckland's level 3 lockdown kicks in, Air NZ is closing Auckland's airport lounges and valet parking.

"Customers who hold a ticket for a domestic flight within New Zealand and are scheduled to depart before 11.59 PM Sunday, August 16 may opt to hold their fare in credit and can do this via the airline's online booking tool," says Air NZ.

"Customers who are unable to manage their booking online and no longer wish to travel do not need to contact Air NZ immediately or prior to their flight's departure, and can be assisted at a later date to find an alternative flight option or be provided with a credit note."

Jetstar says it may cancel some flights due to the current alert levels and if it does, customers will be contacted directly.

"Under these restrictions, travel is permitted only for residents returning to Auckland or those leaving Auckland to return home," says Jetstar.

"If you are due to travel to/from Auckland during this time and wish to change your travel plans now, you have a number of options available including an alternative flight in the next 14 days or a credit voucher."

On Tuesday evening Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced four new COVID-19 cases from community transmission. 

The new cases are all from one family in south Auckland and in response, Auckland is moving into alert level 3 until at least midnight on Friday.