Air New Zealand cancels December flights as part of COVID-19 schedule changes

The airline is blaming uncertainty around Auckland's COVID-19 alert level.
The airline is blaming uncertainty around Auckland's COVID-19 alert level. Photo credit: Peter Clark/Newshub

Air New Zealand has confirmed the cancellation of some of its domestic flights scheduled for December due to the continued disruption of COVID-19 Delta in the community.

Those affected by the cancellations are posting their frustration on Reddit, with one user saying the changes mean the end of a family reunion. 

"Booked for start of December, other family members also had theirs cancelled. Was meant to be an early family Xmas, cancelled due to ongoing uncertainty with COVID. Interesting though that it's not even November and they're cancelling," Reddit user Borednz posted.

In a statement, the airline said it had been working through its schedule and making changes due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 alert level restrictions.

Rival airline Jetstar continues to sell domestic airfares through December.

Air NZ says it has contacted those travelling between or via Auckland from November 2 - December 6 whose flights had been impacted.

"Unfortunately a large number of flights have been cancelled due to the Auckland border remaining in place," Air NZ Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty said.

"All customers booked to travel on those services were given a credit or refunded (depending on fare type) due to the vast majority of people being ineligible to travel to/from Auckland under the continuing restrictions."

Some customers whose flights were cancelled complained that airfares on flights departing at times close to those which were cancelled had much higher airfares. But the airline says passengers affected by the cancellations can switch flights without any additional charge.

"Due to the limited number of seats available the pricing on some of these flights may be higher than the original fare paid. If customers are still eligible to travel, they can rebook their flight within a seven-day period from the date of travel through the contact centre with no additional fare or fees to pay," Geraghty said.