Air New Zealand is reviewing the impact of new measures from the country’s government intended to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Under the directive every person entering New Zealand, excluding Pacific territories, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, a restriction which will be reviewed in 16 days’ time.
Cruise ships will be banned from arrival at least until the end of June, while new health measures will be introduced at borders for Pacific departures.
But prime minister Jacinda Ardern says the government will “work closely” with the aviation industry to “encourage airlines to remain active” in New Zealand.
“We did not take these decisions lightly,” she says. “We know these travel restrictions will place significant strain on the aviation industry, and we anticipate some routes will reduce or cease for a period of time.”
Air New Zealand states that it is undertaking a “full review” of its schedules as a result of the government’s decision.
The measures do not apply to cargo aircaft, air crew or freight shipping.
“We will be working to ensure we keep sea and air freight routes open for imports and exports,” says Ardern, pointing out that a number of items imported to New Zealand arrive via passenger flights.
She says the government will “encourage and support airlines” to stay active in the country so that it can “rebound from the restrictions quickly” and avoid significant impacts on tourism and other economic sectors.
“It is not realistic for New Zealand to have only a handful of [coronavirus] cases,” Ardern says. “The key continues to be leaving our hospital system for those who need it most.”