ANZ: Border uncertainty forces Australia flight cancellations

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Air New Zealand said Monday (22 November) that continued border uncertainty between New Zealand and Australia means Air New Zealand must cancel more than 1,000 flights through to 31 December 2021. This follows other cancellations made since quarantine-free travel was first paused.

“Now, due to recent statements by the New Zealand government that quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand is unlikely to re-commence this year, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to change our schedule,” said Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty. “This will be particularly tough news for families and friends who were hoping to catch up over Christmas. I appreciate how difficult this news will be, but our hands are tied until border restrictions ease, and we receive further clarity from the New Zealand government.”

The airline estimates around 1,000 flights will need to be canceled, with around 20,000 customers expected to be impacted. “Customers have already begun moving their bookings into credit and we’re acting now to give customers as much certainty as possible, so they can make alternative plans,” said Geraghty. “We appreciate this latest news means some customers will have to wait longer before reuniting with loved ones. We’re continuing to do everything we can to get them home safely as quickly as possible.”

Air New Zealand’s schedule beyond 31 December remains in place until it receives an update from the New Zealand Government. The airline continues to operate a reduced schedule of flights into Sydney and Melbourne and ‘red fights’ from Australia into New Zealand for those with MIQ spots. Impacted customers can opt to hold their fare in credit for travel at another date or receive a refund if they have purchased a refundable ticket.

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