Skip to main content
News

When Will Self-Isolation Go? Airlines Call For More Clarity On NZ’s Border Reopening Plan

  • 2022-02-04

International airlines are calling for a clear plan around the removal of self-isolation as a requirement for returning travellers, saying they need more certainty so they can plan to return flying here.

 

Interim Chief Executive Mary-Liz Tuck said while yesterday’s announcement was welcome news for Kiwis wanting to return home and a positive first step for the aviation industry, airlines want to know now what the trigger points will be for when self-isolation requirements will be removed for travellers.

 

“We’re really pleased that Kiwis are going to be able to return home - that’s a really important first step and it’s been welcomed by airlines as well as Auckland Airport.

 

“Our airline customers have also been very clear that they need to know now when self-isolation will end before they can plan to resume flying here.

 

“While the requirements are in place, airlines say their customers will not want to fly long-haul to New Zealand for the trip of a lifetime or on business, only to spend their first week sitting in a hotel.

“They say the evidence is that border restrictions are no longer a useful tool once Omicron is established in a community, and that vaccinated and tested travellers will present very little risk to New Zealand once this takes place.

 

“They have shared with us that overseas markets with continued self-isolation requirements experienced passenger demand that hovered at around 5% to 10% of pre-Covid levels,” she said. 

 

Ms Tuck said Auckland Airport had spoken to 10 airlines over the past 24 hours, and the feedback had been consistent. Without clear guidance around the trigger points or a date for self-isolation ending, they would not be able to attract meaningful traveller volumes needed to sustain long-haul flights to and from New Zealand.

 

“Airlines are looking to deploy their fleets where they can get consistent, stable passenger volumes, and they are focusing on overseas markets that have communicated a clear path out of border restrictions, following a surge of Omicron in the community.”

 

Currently 12 airlines fly to 22 international destinations from Auckland Airport, compared to 29 airlines connecting to 43 international destinations in December 2019.

 

International flight movements in 2021 at Auckland Airport were roughly the same as around 35 years ago, with international passenger volumes down by 96% since December 2019. Just one daily wide-body flight to New Zealand a year carries half a billion worth of freight.

 

“For a trade-dependent nation like ours, that reduction in competition and connectivity will not only hit passengers in the pocket but also businesses who rely on air freight as a critical part of their supply chain,” Ms Tuck said.

CATEGORY
COUNTRY / AREA
New Zealand
AUTHOR
Auckland Airport
The Trinity Forum 2024, The Moodie Davitt Report, Ho Chi Minh City, Travel, Luxury, IPP Travel Retail
Airport Carbon Accreditation
WAGA, ACI Annual assembly, conference, exhibition, aviation conference. ACI World, Riyadh Airports
The Trinity Forum 2024, The Moodie Davitt Report, Ho Chi Minh City, Travel, Luxury, IPP Travel Retail
Airport Carbon Accreditation
WAGA, ACI Annual assembly, conference, exhibition, aviation conference. ACI World, Riyadh Airports