Air New Zealand Operates Rare Flight To Frankfurt

Continuing with rare and never-before-seen routes, Air New Zealand is operating an Auckland-Vancouver-Frankfurt flight this weekend. According to Scoop, this is the first of several flights Air New Zealand is operating for the German Government as part of the repatriation of stranded German nationals.

Air New Zealand Operates Rare Flight To Frankfurt
The flight will be operated using a Boeing 777-300. Photo: Getty Images

Flight details

The flight, number NZ1960, departed Auckland for Vancouver yesterday at 16:30. It then arrived in Vancouver at 09:00. After a roughly two-hour stopover, the flight took off again for Frankfurt. The aircraft will then retrace its journey, flying from Frankfurt to Vancouver today at 11:05. All times listed are local.

Air New Zealand Operates Rare Flight To Frankfurt
The flight path of NZ1960 from Vancouver to Frankfurt. Photo:

Repatriating stranded travelers

Air New Zealand flying from Auckland to Vancouver is nothing new. The airline has been running a regularly scheduled service between the two cities for quite some time now. However, Frankfurt is not a city that the airline offers as a regular destination.

Scoop reports that a team of Air New Zealand employees put themselves forward to fly the lengthy mission. The team consists of four pilots and 12 cabin crew operating the Auckland-Vancouver leg. In Vancouver, the airline positioned a full replacement crew to continue to Frankfurt.

“We are pleased to be able to help the German Government to safely bring its people home and our teams have quickly mobilised a schedule with daily flights scheduled through to next Wednesday, and more to come. Naturally the wellbeing of our passengers and crew is Air New Zealand’s top priority and we are incredibly grateful for the measures put in place by the New Zealand Government to ensure the safe departure of foreign nationals from our shores.” -Captain David Morgan, Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer

The Air New Zealand 777 has 342 seats available for the journey. Photo: Getty Images.

More unique repatriation flights

During this unprecedented global emergency, we have seen a number of unique routes being operated by airlines that would normally not fly to such destinations. Other examples include:

  • Condor flying from Phuket to Perth, repatriating Germans from Australia. The airline is also flying repatriation flights from Bali and Jakarta.
  • Lufthansa flying from Frankfurt to Auckland via Tokyo: This flight was an effort to repatriate stranded German citizens who were otherwise unable to return to Germany.
  • Austrian Airlines flying from Vienna to Sydney. The flight was direct and non-stop on the outbound portion of the trip.
  • SWISS is operating its longest flight to date. Flying a Boeing 777 from its Zurich hub to Santiago, Chile.


There will be even more repatriation flights taking off in the near future. For Air New Zealand, these flights will again use the airline’s 342-seat 777-300. Flights will depart from Auckland and Christchurch airports in the coming days. In fact, Air New Zealand is working with several governments on requests for repatriation charters.

Have you flown recently? If you’ve been on a repatriation flight during this crisis, let us know about your experience by leaving a comment!