Air NZ boss suggests passenger number restrictions won't be for long

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Jul 2020, 6:23PM
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran. (Photo / Supplied)

Air NZ boss suggests passenger number restrictions won't be for long

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Jul 2020, 6:23PM

The Air New Zealand boss has hinted restrictions to manage the numbers of returning New Zealanders could be shorter than the Government's flagged.

In a statement this morning the minister in charge of quarantine and isolation facilities Megan Woods said the Government and Air New Zealand had agreed to manage incoming bookings in the short term.

This would enable the Government to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, said Woods.

Woods, speaking to media at 10am, said "we were never going to let" border facilities reach maximum capacity.

But it became apparent they needed to take action, she said.

Woods said New Zealand wasn't running out of space, but it needed to be managed.

"We cannot let this continue to be a purely demand-driven system".

It means that the airline is not accepting bookings on flights for the next three weeks.

Chief executive Greg Foran told Heather du Plessis-Allan he thinks it's the right thing to do.

"We're talking here at most a three week period.

"That timing could come back depending on how things are managed." 

He says that there may be some passengers that will be bumped off of flights, but Foran says that they are not talking about a lot of passengers.

"If there's some people who can't move, we won't, but if there are people who are prepared to move, then we will do something to help make that happen." 

Foran says over 5,000 passengers are booked to fly over the next three weeks, and they are looking to move them. He does not expect that anyone will be bumped off flights over the next week.  

He did not say if they have asked for compensation from the Government yet.