Air New Zealand set to expand international cargo operations

By Damian Brett

Air New Zealand will expand its international air cargo operations following the launch of the second phase of a government supply chain support scheme.

The airline will operate around 55 international flights per week after the government announced phase two of the International Air Freight Capacity (IAFC) Scheme that aims to maintain air cargo supply chain connectivity in light of reduced passenger operations.

Air New Zealand general manager cargo Anna Palairet says this is great news not only for the airline but for importers and exporters wanting to get their product to key markets around the world.

“It’s great to see the extension of the IAFC scheme as it provides much-needed support and stability to New Zealand importers and exporters,” she said.

“Our flying schedule remains largely the same and it’s exciting to see new services to Guangzhou and Perth, as well as some enhancements to the ongoing schedule to improve the connectivity for South Island Exporters.

“With the festive season just around the corner, these additional flights will be instrumental in helping New Zealand exporters get their produce on holiday tables around the world. We’ll be sending more than 1000 tonnes of lamb up to the UK in time for Christmas and more than 3,500 tonnes of stone fruit around the globe with a majority moving into China for the Chinese New Year.”

In September 2020, the New Zealand government agreed to extend the IAFC scheme until the end of March 2021. It ran a second request for proposal process recognising that the first procurement round was done at a challenging time for the aviation sector and delivered to accelerated time frames.

New IAFC contracts took effect at the end of November 2020.

Since Air New Zealand started flying under the IAFC scheme in May, it has operated more than 1,100 return flights, carrying over 39,000 tonnes of cargo in and out of New Zealand.

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