Air New Zealand extends COVID flexibility as 20,000 stay at home during holidays

  • 15/07/2022
CEO Greg Foran
Its CEO Greg Foran said 57,000 customers had been in touch in the last week. Photo credit: Getty Images

Air New Zealand is extending its COVID flexibility policy until the end of August after thousands of Kiwis took advantage of it to delay their travel.

As winter illness sets in, more than 20,000 of the airline's customers opted to stay home during the school holidays, making use of the policy. 

The airline's CEO Greg Foran said over the last week around 57,000 customers had been in touch, with many calling to change travel plans.

"It's not just COVID, it's the winter flu and weather disrupting plans," Foran said.

"That's why we've chosen to extend our COVID flexibility policy through to 31 August. Customers can opt into credit or make a change to their booking with change fees waived, whatever the reason. No questions asked."

Foran said more than 130,000 customers were travelling both domestically and internationally this weekend.

"It's our busiest period in two years and we're all hands-on deck. We've had our office-based staff helping out cleaning aircraft and assisting at our airports in peak times to support customers and our frontline.

"There's no doubt it's a challenging time for everyone," Foran said.

"It's been more than two years of hard mahi, and unfortunately, we're not out of the woods yet. Around the world, we're seeing the disruption continue to bite. We've avoided the worst of it here in Aotearoa, and most of our customers are getting to where they need to go."

Foran said the extra flexibility would give customers a "few more options" to defer travel to sunnier times.

Customers booked between now and August 31 can hold the value of their fare in credit for 12 months, from the time they requested their credit.