Air New Zealand is implementing measures to protect the travel plans of its customers as sickness levels continue to cause disruption.
Air New Zealand will reduce its flight schedule over the next six months to deal with staff sickness. The airline will operate 1.5% fewer seats than originally planned.
Travelers impacted by any schedule’s changes will be automatically transferred to another flight. People who booked a domestic flight will be transferred to another flight on the same day. As for international travel, customers experiencing cancellations will be transferred to flights on the same day or a day either side of their original booking.
Like many airlines around the world, we’ve been ramping up our operation at a time when Covid and the flu continues to impact the aviation industry. Looking at the disruptions our customers and staff have faced over the past five weeks, we’ve made some adjustments to reduce short-notice cancellations in the months ahead.Greg Foran, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer
In case travelers cannot be accommodated within these timeframes, they may change their booking online, opt into credit or request a refund. Air New Zealand will directly work with those customers with onward connections that may also be disrupted.
According to Greg Foran, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, making these changes now helps the airline provide better customer service as travelers know in advance whether their flight will be impacted.
While we did factor sickness into our ramp up plan, we’ve seen the highest rates of crew sickness in over a decade. We see these challenges continuing not just for crew, but for our whole operation, and so we’re making proactive changes to address them.Greg Foran, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer
Mr Foran explains that reducing the flight schedule allows Air New Zealand to have crew on standby to cover illness, something that has not been possible lately.
We’re pulling out all the stops to minimize disruption and provide surety for our customers over the next six months. We have rehired or brought on more than 2,000 pilots, airport staff, cabin crew, contact center and engineers, and we’re going as fast as we can with recruitment and training.Greg Foran, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer
Air New Zealand’s domestic and international schedule will be operating at 90% of pre-Covid capacity for the next six months.