Anyone hoping to get a spot on a flight to New Zealand from New South Wales will have a chance to do so from early this morning.
But be warned – only between 40 and 60 people will be able to get a seat.
That will be the case for the first few emergency flights being put on by Air New Zealand for Kiwis who are stranded in the Australian state because of the latest Covid-19 outbreak there.
Bookings for the special flights will be made available on the airline’s website from 10am today on a first-in, first-served basis.
Call-centre for Kiwis with urgent need to get home
A call-centre has been set up for Kiwis with an “urgent or exceptional need” to return to New Zealand from NSW.
The Unite Against Covid-19 Facebook page said anyone who fits in that category can call through to explain their situation for further guidance.
The phone line will run from 10am to 10pm (NZT), from Monday to Friday, on (04) 439-8235. People can also send an email via [email protected]
Anyone wanting to be granted a trip home on compassionate or urgent grounds needs to meet eligibility requirements, such as there being a serious health or safety risk that means they need to return to New Zealand as soon as possible.
Leanne Geraghty, of Air New Zealand, said: “We would love to be able to bring more Kiwis home to their families, but we’re limited by the availability of [managed isolation and quarantine] spots.
“Only between 40 to 60 seats per flight will be available to be booked by customers as these are directly linked to MIQ spots.”
Those trying to get home on any of these flights do not have to search for an MIQ spot separately, as a result, as each seat will be linked to an available room in a managed isolation facility.
About 20 per cent of all MIQ spots are being set aside for those wanting to get home urgently on compassionate grounds. Those are being managed by government officials, the airline said.
The first emergency flights from NSW are scheduled to touch down tomorrow at 2.25pm in Auckland and 11.55pm in Christchurch, respectively.
The next flights throughout the week are scheduled to arrive in Auckland, while one will land in Christchurch on July 23.
“As we’re experiencing a very high volume of calls and messages, we recommend customers visit our Travel Alerts page before getting in touch. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available,” Geraghty said.
“We appreciate our customers’ understanding and patience as our teams work to ensure they are kept up to date.”
Just after 10.30am, it appeared all the flights from Sydney to Auckland or Christchurch over the next two weeks had been snapped up; with no seats available until Monday, July 26, for just over $300 for a one-way economy ticket.
The business fares, one-way, start from $1111 and are not available any more until July 26.
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