Category Archives: Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand heads back to Vancouver, converts a 787 to a vaccination clinic called “Jabaseat”

Air New Zealand has secured a further five months of support for cargo flights under the Government’s extended Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme, with Vancouver being added to the mix.

With the MIAC scheme now extended from November 1, 2021 through to March 31, 2022, the scheme will ensure additional and much-needed air freight capacity is available over the summer peak so high value New Zealand goods can get to market.

Since this Government support scheme came into effect in May 2020, the airline has flown nearly 7,000 flights, carrying over 100,000 tonnes of cargo into and out of New Zealand.

In other news, the airline has announced “destination vaccination”.

The airline is transforming a 787 aircraft into a special vaccination clinic, ‘Jabaseat’, to encourage Aucklanders to get vaccinated this Super Saturday.

Special markings have been added to this 787.

Air New Zealand to introduce ‘no jab, no fly’ for international travellers

Air New Zealand Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKR (msn 44546) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 928708.

Air New Zealand has made this announcement:

“We’re getting ready to reconnect with the world and letting customers know what they need to do to be ready to take off when we can,” says Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran.

“Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the new reality of international travel –many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors. The quicker we get vaccinated, the sooner we can fly Kiwis to places like New York, Vancouver and Narita.

“We’ve been hearing from both customers and employees that this measure is important to them. It came through loud and clear in our recent consultation process with employees and we want to do everything we can to protect them. Mandating vaccination on our international flights will give both customers and employees the peace of mind that everyone onboard meets the same health requirements as they do.”

These requirements will sit alongside the measures the airline already has to keep New Zealand safe.

“It’s not just customers who will be required to be vaccinated – it’s everyone on board an Air New Zealand aircraft traveling internationally, adding to the health and safety measures we already have in place. Another tool in our toolbox.

“As with anything, there will be some that disagree. However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community. We’ll spend the next few months making sure we get this right, ensuring it works as smoothly as possible for our customers. This also gives anyone wanting to travel from next year plenty of time to get their vaccination.

“To take some of the friction out of the travel experience and to help our customers know exactly what they need to travel before even getting to the airport, we’re continuing to work on rolling out the International Air Transport Associations (IATA) Travel Pass app.”

The airline continues to work closely with the Government and Airport groups on the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan.

Air New Zealand’s vaccination requirement will apply to all passengers aged 18 and older arriving or departing Aotearoa on an Air New Zealand aircraft. Customers who are not vaccinated will be required to present proof that vaccination was not a viable option for them for medical reasons.

IATA Travel Pass

Using Timatic, the IATA Travel Pass will check customers’ health information against flight details to ensure they are meeting entry requirements for that destination, and the airline.

The app is based on decentralized technology which means there is no central database holding passenger information. Passengers have complete discretion as to whether they share their data or not and they can delete their data at any time on the app, without fear of this being stored.

Top Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKR (msn 44546) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 928708.

Air New Zealand aircraft slide show:

Air New Zealand is adding “red flights” between Australia and New Zealand in December

Air New Zealand Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKN (msn 38406) LHR (Andi Hiltl). Image: 955314.

Air New Zealand made this announcement:

The ‘red’ (quarantine) flights will sit alongside the current ‘green’ (quarantine free) flights available in the booking system and will be labelled accordingly. The airline’s ‘red’ services flight numbers will start with NZ8, the ‘green’ services will start with NZ1. Please refer to the below schedule for further information.

As quarantine-free travel with Australia is paused up until the end of November, the airline still has green (quarantine-free) flights available to book from December. However, these flights will be cancelled if the quarantine-free travel pause is extended. If customers currently booked on a green flight wish to transfer their booking to a red flight, we recommend they go online to put their flight into credit and then use the credit to rebook onto a red service.

Top Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKN (msn 38406) LHR (Andi Hiltl). Image: 955314.
Air New Zealand aircraft slide show:

Airbus and Air New Zealand to study potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft

Air New Zealand and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on a joint study to explore the potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft operations.

Under the agreement, Air New Zealand will analyze the impact hydrogen-powered aircraft may have on its network, operations and infrastructure. Meanwhile, Airbus will share expected aircraft  performance and ground operations characteristics to support Air New Zealand in its decarbonization roadmap.

Airbus is currently studying three concepts for hydrogen-powered aircraft, including a turboprop, turbofan and blended wing option. The company plans to bring a hydrogen-powered aircraft to the market by 2035.

Air New Zealand and Airbus to research future of hydrogen-powered aircraft in Aotearoa

Air New Zealand and aircraft manufacturer Airbus have today announced a joint initiative to research how hydrogen-powered aircraft could assist the airline with reaching its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

In a first for the Asia-Pacific region, the two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on a joint research project to better understand the opportunities and challenges of flying zero-emission hydrogen aircraft in New Zealand.

Under the MoU, Air New Zealand will analyze the impact hydrogen aircraft may have on its network, operations and infrastructure, while Airbus will provide hydrogen aircraft performance requirements and ground operations characteristics to support Air New Zealand to develop its decarbonization roadmap.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says the MoU is an exciting step towards understanding how hydrogen-powered aircraft could become a reality in New Zealand.

“This agreement brings us a step closer to our net zero emissions by 2050 commitment, and to realizing our aspiration to put low carbon solutions in place for our shorter domestic and regional flights in the next decade. New Zealand has a unique opportunity to be a world leader in the adoption of zero emissions aircraft, given the country’s commitment to renewable energy which can be used to generate green hydrogen and our highly connected regional air network.

“At this stage, both hydrogen and battery electric aircraft are still on the table as potential options for our shorter domestic flights, along with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for long haul operations. This research will help to inform future decision making as we work to decarbonize the airline.”

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan says the MoU is an opportunity for the airline to be part of the design and definition of how a hydrogen-powered aircraft might fit into its own operations.

“We’ll be working closely with Airbus to understand opportunities and challenges, including achievable flying range and what ground infrastructure or logistics changes may be required to implement this technology in New Zealand.”

Airbus Asia-Pacific President Anand Stanley says the company chose to work with Air New Zealand because of its commitment to sustainability, reputation for technical excellence and alignment with the manufacturer’s own decarbonization goals.

“This agreement with Air New Zealand will provide us with important insights about how we could put a zero-emission aircraft into service. The joint study will enable us to gain invaluable feedback on what airlines will expect and their preferences in terms of configuration and performance.

Airbus is currently looking at three concepts for hydrogen-powered aircraft, including a turboprop, turbofan and blended wing option.

Air New Zealand will now also retire its Boeing 777-300 fleet

Air New Zealand Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKO (msn 38407) LHR (SPA). Image: 954821.

Air New Zealand is currently operating 14 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, 20 Airbus A320s and 11 A320/A321neo aircraft as well as 28 ATR 72-600s and 23 Bombardier DHC-8-300s.

According to the airline, the fleet also includes 7 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and 8 Boeing 777-200ER aircraft which are currently non-operating and in storage as a result of the continuing COVID-19 border closures.

The carrier advised at its annual review on its financial results on August 26 that the “787s that will enter the fleet from the 2024 financial year will now replace the 777-300 fleet which is expected to be phased out within this decade”.

Originally the plan was to only replace the 777-200s but COVID market closures has changed the plan.

Top Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKO (msn 38407) LHR (SPA). Image: 954821.

Air New Zealand aircraft slide show:

Air New Zealand announces its 2021 financial results as it continues to navigate COVID-19 impacts

Delivered on June 30, 2014

Air New Zealand has made this announcement:

Air New Zealand has announced a loss before other significant items and taxation of $440 million for the 2021 financial year.
August 26, 2021

Financial results summary

  • Operating revenue of $2.5 billion, down 48 percent on the prior year
  • Cargo revenue up 71 percent on the prior year, supported by the New Zealand and Australian Government’s IAFC, MIAC and IFAM schemes (the airfreight support schemes) ¹
  • Loss before other significant items and taxation of $440 million ²
  • Loss before taxation of $411 million
  • Domestic capacity rebounded strongly as the year progressed, reaching 93 percent of pre-Covid for the three months ending July, driven by strong leisure demand and the return of corporate customers
  • Latest domestic nationwide lockdown expected to negatively impact financial operating performance
  • Liquidity of $1.3 billion as at 24 August 2021, comprised of $183 million cash and $1.15 billion of undrawn funds on the Government standby loan facility (the Facility)
  • Dividends remain suspended
  • Planned capital raise deferred to first quarter of calendar year 2022

Air New Zealand has announced a loss before other significant items and taxation of $440 million for the 2021 financial year – its first full 12-month period of operation with Covid-19 related international travel restrictions. Using the same metric, the company reported an $87 million loss for the 2020 financial year.

 Statutory losses before taxation, which include a $29 million gain from other significant items, were $411 million, compared to a loss of $628 million last year.

 The financial result benefited from approximately $450 million of Government assistance including airfreight support schemes as well as further subsidies and initiatives that are not expected to be repeated to the same extent in the 2022 financial year.

 Ongoing border restrictions saw operating revenue decline 48 percent to $2.5 billion as international flying was significantly reduced, with capacity down 55 percent on the prior year, although cargo flying revenue grew by 71 percent compared to the prior year thanks to airfreight support schemes. The airline’s domestic business performed strongly, led by strong leisure demand as well as corporate customers flying at close to pre-Covid levels.

 Chairman Dame Therese Walsh says the 2021 financial result reflected the reality of a year in which the airline was unable to fly two-thirds of its passenger network.

 “In a severely constrained environment, Air New Zealand maintained cost discipline, focusing on delivering with excellence in the areas in its control. The return of a strong domestic business and growth in the cargo services that underpin our key export markets was a reminder of the airline’s crucial role in New Zealand’s infrastructure,” says Dame Therese.

 “Air New Zealanders showed agility during constantly changing operating conditions, managing reopenings, pauses and then closures while generating new revenue from additional cargo routes and increasing domestic and regional passenger capacity to match an increased demand for domestic leisure travel.”

 Dame Therese paid tribute to the continued commitment and sacrifice of the Air New Zealand team.

 “To keep New Zealand connected to key markets, help Kiwis continue travelling and manage continued disruption to passengers’ travel plans, Air New Zealanders have again proven their aroha for customers. From our airport employees and flight crew who are among the most frequently tested groups in the country, to all our other operations and corporate teams across the network who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our customers and cargo moving, their efforts have been extraordinary.”

 “These efforts, after 18 months of reduced pay and forfeited incentives, were recognised earlier this year when we announced eligible employees would each be provided with a $1,000 award of shares or cash. With significant uncertainty ahead, including the current lockdown, this was important recognition of the people who give so much to our business.”

 Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said the 2021 financial year was one in which the airline played the hand it was dealt, kept planes flying every day and took some important steps in the delivery of its refreshed strategy, Kia Mau.

 “Our people developed new capabilities and dexterity, adapting quickly when conditions changed. Although the return of long-haul travel seems some time away, the changes the team made this year will serve us well when it returns,” he says.

 “We have reimagined our domestic business, increasing the choice of flight times and introducing greater price differentiation for peak and off-peak flying. This allows us to offer more lower priced fares, which will unlock new demand for domestic tourism.”

 “We capped fares to ensure travel isn’t out of reach when it’s needed most, reintroduced the popular Fast Bag service with new features, and improved our unaccompanied minors service to make travel easier for our most valuable cargo and safer for our people.”

 “We had fun with our customers, trialing new inflight food and beverage options, made changes – while retaining the much-loved cookie – and will showcase great New Zealand products in the year ahead.”

 Mr Foran says the airline also took meaningful steps towards its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

 “With almost daily reminders of the impact of climate change, we are supporting the development and deployment of electric, hybrid and hydrogen aircraft for domestic use, and engaging and collaborating with others in the private sector and the Government to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply a reality in New Zealand.”

 “We also made some exciting enhancements to our Airpoints^TM^ loyalty programme, adding more store partners, improving access to upgrades and increasing the ability to share benefits among family and friends.”

 “Strategic digital investments towards our goal of being ‘the world’s leading digital airline’ included equipping our turboprop aircrew with devices to replace paper-based systems, introducing a new supply chain management system and improving self-serve options for customers to use credits and manage bookings.”

 Mr Foran also acknowledged the ongoing uncertainty in the airline’s operational and financial performance, including following the latest Covid-19 cases in New Zealand and subsequent lockdown.

 “More than ever, this is a time to look after our people who continue to deliver those essential services, keeping cargo moving and getting Kiwis back home.”

Capital raise and liquidity

As announced on 13 August 2021, Air New Zealand received a letter from the Minister of Finance outlining his view that the current environment is not sufficiently certain and stable to enable the Crown to provide a firm pre-commitment to support a planned equity raise at this time. In this context, the airline has, in consultation with the Crown, decided to further defer its planned capital raise from 30 September 2021 until the first available window in the first quarter of calendar year 2022.

 Given the critical role that the airline has in New Zealand’s economy and society, the Crown has again confirmed its longstanding commitment to maintaining a majority shareholding in Air New Zealand. Subject to Cabinet being satisfied with the terms of the airline’s proposed capital raise at the relevant time, the Crown has again confirmed that it will participate in an equity capital raise by purchasing the number of new shares necessary to maintain a majority shareholding.

 On completion of the recapitalisation, Air New Zealand expects to repay all amounts drawn under the Facility. The Crown has confirmed to the airline that it shares this expectation.

Until the capital raise is completed, the airline has access to sufficient liquidity under the Facility, with $1.15 billion in remaining funds that allow it to continue operating and investing activities. Air New Zealand has drawn $350 million on the Facility as at 25 August 2021 and expects to draw down further in the coming months.

 The airline’s operating cashflow for the 2021 financial year benefited from the one-off deferral of around $254 million in Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) and PAYE payments, which will start to be repaid in the 2022 calendar year. An additional $60 million of FBT and PAYE is expected to be deferred in the first quarter of the 2022 financial year and repaid before 31 March 2022.

Dividend update

The Board continues to focus on preserving Air New Zealand’s liquidity, and given the ongoing uncertainty and continuing financial pressures on the airline, has determined it will not declare a final dividend for the 2021 financial year.

 Air New Zealand’s Board does not expect to consider payment of dividends before the airline’s earnings and gearing substantially recover, and in the context of a supportive macroeconomic environment.

Outlook for 2022

Given uncertainty surrounding the current national lockdown, ongoing international travel restrictions and uncertainty regarding the level of demand as these restrictions lift, Air New Zealand has suspended 2022 earnings guidance.

Other significant items

Other significant items, representing a gain of $29 million in the 2021 financial year, were made up of $143 million of foreign exchange gains on uncovered debt and a gain of $21 million related to the sale of Heathrow landing slots partially offset by aircraft impairment and lease modification costs of $78 million, reorganisation costs of $39 million and the de-designation of hedges as a result of forecast transactions no longer expected to occur of $18 million.

¹ In March 2020 the New Zealand Government established the International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme to support aviation carries to continue to provide capacity on key international airfreight routes. Following the success of this scheme, the Government introduced the Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme to support air services through to the end of October 2021, with the potential for an extension to March 2022. The Australian Government introduced the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) in April 2020 to keep global airlinks open to Australia and awarded the contract to Air New Zealand in August 2020. It has subsequently been extended to September 2021.

² Losses before other significant items and taxation represent Earnings stated in compliance with NZ IFRS (Statutory Earnings) after excluding items which due to their size or nature warrant separate disclosure to assist with understanding the underlying financial performance of the Group. Losses before other significant items and taxation is reported within the Group’s audited annual financial statements.

Top Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner ZK-NZE (msn 34334) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 954809.

Air New Zealand aircraft slide show:

Air New Zealand cuts its domestic schedule due to a national lockdown

Air New Zealand Airbus A320-232 ZK-OJS (msn 4926) AKL (Colin Hunter). Image: 923806.

Air New Zealand will reduce its domestic schedule on August 20 to just seven daily flights on five domestic routes.

The reduction is due to the discovery of a Delta variant in the country on August 17 forced the government to impose a strict lockdown for at least seven days.

Air New Zealand has made this announcement:

During Alert Level 4, travel is restricted to essential services only. Customers who are traveling should check they are eligible to travel under Alert Level 4 on the Government’s COVID-19 website, as travel is severely limited.

For the next 48 hours, the airline will continue to operate its current schedule around the country to enable customers to return home to their place of residence.

Food and beverage service onboard domestic flights will be suspended in response to the latest community case and this suspension will remain in place until further notice. Water is available on request on all flights. From tonight, Air New Zealand’s lounges will be closed.

Valet parking will be closed to new bookings, however will stay open for 48 hours for customers to retrieve their vehicle.

While the country is at elevated Alert Levels, Air New Zealand will be taking extra precautions to keep its staff and customers safe. Air New Zealand front line staff and cabin crew will be wearing masks and gloves, and customers are still required to wear face coverings onboard.

Customers throughout New Zealand with existing bookings for travel between 17 August and 24 August will be able change their booking with change fees and any fare difference waived through to 31 August. Customers can do this via our online booking tool. Those who have booked through a third party will need to contact their agent.

In addition to this, customers who hold a ticket for a domestic flight scheduled to depart up until 30 September are able to opt in for credit and can do this via the airline’s online booking tool.

The Air New Zealand contact centre and social media team are currently experiencing very high demand and the airline is grateful to customers for their patience while it works through these changes.

Top Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand Airbus A320-232 ZK-OJS (msn 4926) AKL (Colin Hunter). Image: 923806.

Air New Zealand aircraft slide show:

Air New Zealand trials a global digital travel pass

Air New Zealand has issued this statement:

Air New Zealand customers and employees will be among the first to trial a digital initiative to get people moving safely across the globe again.

With constantly changing entry and departure testing and paperwork requirements, the airline wants to streamline the health verification process to help customers know what they need to take their next international trip safely.

The airline will trial the digital Travel Pass app developed by International Air Transport Association (IATA) on its Auckland-Sydney route in April.

Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Jennifer Sepull says the goal is to enable customers to seamlessly manage their digital travel documentation throughout their travel experience.

“Once borders reopen, travel is going to look very different, with customers’ health data needing to be verified at check-in. It’s essentially like having a digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines. This will give customers peace of mind that they meet all travel requirements for the different countries around the world before they even get to the airport.

“Reassuring customers that travel is in fact safe is one of our priorities. By using the app, customers can have confidence that everyone onboard meets the same government health requirements they do.

“By having a place to store all your health credentials digitally in one place, it will not only speed up the check-in process but unlock the potential for contactless travel.”

Customer privacy is at the heart of the design. There is no central database storing personal information – rather it is shared at the travelers’ discretion, in a safe and secure way.

IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, Nick Careen says Air New Zealand’s trial of IATA Travel Pass is an important milestone towards restarting international travel.

“Air New Zealand is demonstrating its industry leadership being among the first airlines in the world to offer its passengers a digital travel pass.

Air New Zealand’s trial of IATA Travel Pass will help give governments the confidence to re-open borders and passengers the confidence to travel. The app has been developed with the highest levels of data privacy and security, so passengers always remain in control of their COVID-19 health information. And governments can be confident that passengers who are “Ok to Travel” are in full compliance of COVID-19 travel requirements.”

The trial will run for three weeks once the app hits app/android store shelves in April and both aircrew and customers will be invited to join the trial. The airline is in conversation with government agencies about options for validation of testing and vaccination.

How it works

Customers will be able to create a digital health wallet linked to their e-passport. Once travellers have been tested and/or vaccinated, labs will securely send data to the individual’s app. It then checks requirements for travel against the data and customers who meet those travel requirements will be given the green tick to travel.

Air New Zealand aircraft photo gallery:

Air New Zealand aircraft slide show:

Air New Zealand grounds Boeing 777 fleet until September 2021

Air New Zealand made this announcement:

In May 2020 the airline grounded the majority of its seven Boeing 777-300 aircraft until the end of the 2020 calendar year. At the same time the company also signalled it was unlikely to fly its eight 777-200 aircraft in the foreseeable future and began preparing to send these into long term storage overseas.

Four of Air New Zealand’s 777-300 aircraft will be stored in Victorville in the Californian desert, while the remaining three will stay in Auckland where they are able to be returned to service if required. The airline’s 777-200 aircraft will be sent to long-term storage facilities in both Roswell, New Mexico and Victorville, California from later this month.

The North American locations were chosen for their arid conditions and existing storage facilities which will ensure aircraft are kept in a condition that will enable them to be returned to service within six to eight weeks if required.

Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Carrie Hurihanganui says the recovery of the airline’s international network post-COVID-19 is now looking to be slower than initially thought.

“The recent resurgence of cases in New Zealand is a reminder that this is a highly volatile situation. We are not anticipating a return to any 777 flying until September 2021 at the earliest, which is why we have made the decision to ground the fleet until at least this time next year.”

The 777s are the largest aircraft in Air New Zealand’s fleet and have operated the majority of the airline’s long haul routes over the past 15 years. The airline’s international schedule will be operated by the more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, along with A320s and A320/21neos for trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes.

Air New Zealand aircraft photo gallery: