Air New Zealand will be reducing their flight schedule over the next six months. The decision to operate at a changed schedule across the summer comes as levels of sickness within the airline continue to cause disruption.

Air New Zealand aircraft in the sky
Air New Zealand has implemented changes to their schedule as they are impacted by staff illness © Bloomberg

Air New Zealand to reduce its schedule

Air New Zealand has announced they will be operating at a reduced schedule of 1.5 per cent fewer seats than originally planned. This change will see disruptions occur across its network. However, the airline aims to continue to prioritise customer satisfaction. The disruptions will be seen from today.

Customers that have been impacted by a flight change will be transferred to a flight on the same day if travelling domestically, or on the same day or either side of the booking if travelling internationally. Customers will also be entitled to change their booking online, opt for a credit or request a refund if unable to reschedule.

Greg Foran, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer understands the impact these changes can have on customers, however, is determined that acting now will help ensure reliability over the summer.

“We’re pulling out all the stops to minimise 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 centre and engineers, and we’re going as fast as we can with recruitment and training.”

Both the airline’s domestic and international schedules will be operating at 90% of pre-pandemic capacity for the next six months.

Travellers gathered in New Zealand's Auckland airport
Several thousands of people will be impacted by Air New Zealand flight schedule changes © Airline Quality

The latest for the airline

The statement by the airline comes as Air New Zealand was announced as one of the top global airlines most likely to cancel, as the aviation industry continues to be disrupted daily by the impacts of labour shortages, as well as severe weather occurrences. Despite its level of cancellations, the airline was seen to increase ticket prices due to the rising costs that surged past pre-pandemic levels.

The decision for an altered schedule also comes shortly after the airline announced the return of the Boeing 777s out of the Mojave Desert to service strong air travel passenger demand. Although the airline has announced the recruitment of more staff, it is questioned as to whether the Boeing 777-300s will be able to be used to full capacity and as quickly as planned.

Has your upcoming Air New Zealand flight been impacted by these changes? Let us know in the comments below!

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