Singapore Airlines resumes NZ flights

The flights will remain subject to strict restrictions. Photo: ODT files
The flights will remain subject to strict restrictions. Photo: ODT files
Singapore Airlines has announced it will resume passenger flights to Auckland and Christchurch from June 9.

This will include twice-weekly services to Auckland and once-weekly services Christchurch.

Singapore Airlines first ceased operations to New Zealand in March, following the closure of national borders due to Covid-19.

The airline did, however, continue with cargo flights throughout the lockdown period.

"We are committed to ensuring New Zealand remains globally connected in a Covid-safe manner during these challenging times, whether it be keeping key trade channels open or allowing for essential travel to occur," said Singapore Airlines general manager of New Zealand Kenny Teo.

"Throughout the course of the pandemic we continued to operate our three-times weekly freighter services to ensure essential supplies reached New Zealand shores and exporters could continue to send their produce to markets around the world.

"Last week we announced the introduction of five-times weekly cargo-only passenger flights to Auckland to help meet increasing demand, and from Tuesday 9 June, two of these flights will operate as passenger and cargo services, while the other three will continue as cargo-only."

The flights will remain subject to strict restrictions.

"While borders around the world remain closed, these flights will provide important cargo capacity for import and export between the cities and our global network, while allowing those who have an urgent need to travel, or return home, to do so."

New Zealand continues to have strict conditions in terms of who can and cannot enter the country.

In addition to New Zealanders who urgently need to return home, the Government has also made provisions for a category of border exemptions for foreigners deemed essential to a project of "significant economic value".

It was under this provision that James Cameron and more than 50 Avatar crew were controversially granted permission to recently enter New Zealand.

Given tight restrictions would remain in place, Teo admitted it would be a long time before international travel would return to full capacity.

"We continue to monitor the changing border restrictions globally and when appropriate, will make further changes to our minimum connectivity network," he said.

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