Air New Zealand updated its international timetables on Tuesday to cover December and the first quarter of 2022. The Auckland-based airline is maintaining flights to many of its international ports but schedules remain pared-back. However, the update does provide some certainty for people hoping to fly in late 2021 and early 2022.
Air New Zealand update on flights from Australia over December
Air New Zealand’s key international market is Australia. While a short-lived quarantine-free travel corridor operated between the two countries between April and July, Air New Zealand offered considerable capacity into Australia. But with the travel corridor paused, Air New Zealand flights to Australia are scaled back.
Simple Flying has already reported on Air New Zealand’s Australia schedules over October and November. Now, the airline has released its timetables for December.
Air New Zealand will fly from Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne to Auckland in December. Eight flights will run between Auckland and Brisbane over the month, 14 flights will run between Auckland and Sydney, and nine flights will operate between Auckland and Melbourne.
Air New Zealand’s operational update on Tuesday provides information on flights from Australia to New Zealand but not flights from New Zealand to Australia.
Out of Brisbane, Air New Zealand will operate NZ840 on Saturday, December 11, and Saturday, December 25. Currently, the airline has a Boeing 787-9 flying this service. NZ840 departs Brisbane at 11:40 and lands in Auckland at 17:45.
On Saturday, December 4, and Saturday, December 18, Air New Zealand will operate NZ846 between Brisbane and Auckland. Also flown by the Dreamliner, NZ846 leaves Brisbane at 15:40 and gets into Auckland at 21:45. NZ846 will also operate on Tuesday, December 7, 14, 21, and 28. Aircraft operating type, departure and arrival times are identical to the NZ846 Saturday services.
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Scaled back Air New Zealand flights from Sydney and Melbourne
The 14 flights between Sydney and Auckland will run on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays over December. Every Monday and Thursday, Air New Zealand will fly NZ862. The Boeing 787-9 flight will push back from Sydney at 14:45 and land in Auckland three hours later at 19:45.
On Fridays in December, Air New Zealand will also fly between Sydney and Auckland. NZ864 is scheduled to leave Sydney at 12:45 and get into Auckland at 17:45. An Air New Zealand Dreamliner is also slated to fly NZ864.
Melbourne will see twice-weekly Air New Zealand flights to Auckland in December. The flights will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays (except for Friday, December 31). NZ886 is timed to leave Melbourne at 12:20 and arrives in Auckland at 17:45. Air New Zealand currently has the Boeing 787-9s operating these flights. It’s worth noting the Dreamliners may get downgraded to smaller aircraft as December nears.
At the moment, all incoming passengers into New Zealand from Australia (including Kiwi citizens and permanent residents) have to go into a 14-day managed quarantine process. Air New Zealand recommends that passengers who wish to travel on these flights secure a space in quarantine before booking flights.
“If quarantine-free travel from Australia to New Zealand resumes before December, all customers booked on quarantine flights will be rebooked to travel on quarantine-free flights without penalty,” Air New Zealand advises. The airline has yet to make any changes to its 2022 flight schedules to and from Australia.
Mixed picture for Air New Zealand’s long-haul flying
However, Air New Zealand is providing updated guidance on other international operations in early 2022, and it is a mixed picture. Some flights to Los Angeles, Tokyo Narita, Shanghai, and Seoul are confirmed until March 26. But flights to Honolulu, New Caledonia, and Tahiti remain canceled until at least the end of March.
“Due to the ongoing global outbreak of COVID-19, many countries continue to have strict borders in place for airlines and travel,” Air New Zealand’s advisory said on Tuesday. “As a result of this, our reduced international schedule will be extended and published today for travel between January 1 – March 26, 2022, for all international markets.”
In addition to their freight flights, Air New Zealand will operate three return flights a week between Auckland and Los Angles between January 1 and March 26. NZ006 will depart Auckland at 20:15 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, arriving in Los Angeles at 11:20 on the same day.
Coming back, NZ005 will leave LAX at 20:50 on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, landing in Auckland at 06:45 two days later. Air New Zealand will send its 787-9 Dreamliners to Los Angeles.
Air New Zealand’s Dreamliner will also head up to Tokyo Narita every Thursday over the first three months of 2022. NZ99 will depart Auckland at 09:50 on Thursdays and arrive in Narita at 16:50 on the same day.
The Tokyo – Auckland flight will run on Saturdays. NZ90 will push back at 18:30 and land in Auckland at 09:05 on Sunday morning.
Air New Zealand flights to selected long-haul destinations temporarily canceled until April
Air New Zealand will also offer return Shanghai passenger flights twice a week between January 1 and March 26. NZ289 will depart Auckland at 23:59 on Saturdays and Mondays, landing at Shanghai Pudong at 07:05 the following morning. The return flights operate on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Leaving at 14:15, the 787-9 Dreamliner will fly through the night and land in Auckland at 06:45 the next day.
Air New Zealand will fly to Seoul during these three months, but the airline only offers four return flights. Flights will leave Auckland on January 14, February 11, February 25, and March 11.
Except for one weekly return service, flights to Hong Kong and Taipei will be closed to passengers. Air New Zealand hasn’t settled on the Hong Kong and Taipei schedule yet but says it will advise in due course. Existing flights to Vancouver remain open, but some changes are anticipated.
Air New Zealand advises all other long-haul flights between January 1 and March 26 remain canceled. That includes planned flights to Singapore, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago O’Hare, and Osaka.
Those cancelations are in addition to shorter haul international cancelations affecting Honolulu, New Caledonia, and Tahiti. Flights to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands will largely be left intact for the time being. Air New Zealand says it will provide updates on flights to Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa in due course.