Air New Zealand’s ten flights to Australia to help stranded passengers return home sold out in less than two hours.
Air New Zealand issued a travel alert on its website, revealing that it had been allocated spaces for mandatory isolation by the Australian government and would be operating a limited number of flights.
Air New Zealand has been granted permission to operate limited flights to Australia.
Flights from Auckland to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth were available on limited dates in September and went on sale at 10 a.m.and two hours later Air New Zealand issued an update stating that the flights had been sold out.
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran stated that the airline had been allocated fewer than 250 seats.
” We are committed to getting as many people home as we can, even if it means operating near-empty flights. On some flights, the allocations are as low as 12 spaces,” he said.
” Our heart goes out to those customers who have missed out.”
Foran stated that if the airline receives additional allocations, they will only be available for booking online and not through the contact centre.
There would be no waitlist, and customers should keep an eye on the Air New Zealand website for updates.
“We take the responsibility of connecting people seriously and will continue to operate flights as long as MIQ spaces are provided by the Australian Government.”
Australia’s hotel quarantine system differs from that of New Zealand in that travellers are assigned a room upon arrival rather than having to reserve a room when booking their trip. To manage capacity, the Australian Government has set a limit on the number of passengers who can arrive from overseas, with airlines receiving a passenger number allocation.
Meanwhile, New Zealand has reversed its plan to resume red flights from Australia in September, allowing stranded Kiwis to return home after the trans-Tasman bubble was suspended in late July, cancelling all flights.
By Joe Cusmano