New Zealand could see its air connectivity ‘withering on the vine’ next year if we can’t project a clear plan soon on how we plan to open up safely to the world, says Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ) executive director Justin Tighe-Umbers.
He says there is also an urgent need for Government support to keep many of the hundreds of workers who werere-employed when the trans-Tasman bubble opened kept in jobs through to the end of the year.
‘As the Northern Hemisphere opens up with flights around Europe and North America, and between the two, some of our members are reporting increasing pressure from network planners to take aircraft onto these routes. That’s starting to happen.’
Airlines are calling for an extension of support packages from government following the Prime Minister’s forecast of keeping the border closed until the latter part of 2021.
New Zealand is at severe risk of losing what few international air links it has left, says Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ).
The Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ) is supporting the implementation of pre-departure tests.
Airlines have quickly actioned predeparture testing for Covid-19 in the United States and the United Kingdom. Now airlines flying to New Zealand will work with the New Zealand Government to ensure the same testing protocols are in place for other destinations by 25 January.
The Board of Airline Representatives in New Zealand (BARNZ) continues to advocate for a two-speed then three-speed approach to travel from source markets depending on their Covid risk profile.
And BARNZ executive director Justin Tighe-Umbers told the Tourism Export Council NZ Xmas Symposium this week that he is still hopeful of an open border to the Cook Islands before
The New Zealand Aviation Coalition (NZAC) is welcoming Singapore’s decision to open its border to Kiwis from September 1.
Singapore announced on August 21 that it will not require anyone who has been in New Zealand for 14 days before their flight to go into self-isolation on arrival.
Instead, travellers will undergo a Covid-19 test at the airport, and only be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore after receiving a negative test result.
Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), says the move by Singapore is indicative of what is starting to happen around the world.
‘The world is working out how to live with COVID-19,’ he says. ‘New Zealand will lose international connectivity with airlines pulling out unless it keeps abreast of what its competitors are doing and considers the implications. Once airlines pull out it will be extremely hard to compete to get them back and that will have major impacts for the price of tickets for travellers and for exporters relying on air freight.’
Meantime, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed Singapore’s announcement on the easing of border measures for entry into the country. It is urging other states in the region to look at ways to resume international travel safely, including through the implementation of travel bubbles.
‘COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow to the airline industry and the road to recovery is going to be long and slow,’ says Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific. ‘Our latest forecast indicates that travel demand will not return to 2019 levels until 2024, a year later than previously expected. Key to the recovery is the opening of borders and the lifting of travel restrictions and measures such as quarantine.’ He says Singapore’s announcement is positive and a step in the right direction. ‘We hope to work closely with the government so that Singapore’s aviation industry can restart safely while mitigating the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. And we urge other states in the region to look at ways to resume international travel safely.’
Airlines are sitting in ‘pause’ mode and at this time virtually all of the carriers previously servicing this market have indicated they are keen to be back when practically possible, participants in the Tourism Temperature webinar this week heard.
Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director, Board of Airline Representatives NZ (BARNZ) says flights are ‘sitting in the international slot coordination schedule’ but carriers are waiting to see how border restrictions and other plans develop.