Air New Zealand Flight Crews to Overnight in Honolulu Rather Than Los Angeles or San Francisco
Air New Zealand’s North American flights will be re-routed to allow flight crews to overnight in Honolulu instead of Los Angeles or San Francisco. The change is part of the carrier’s efforts to minimize the COVID-19 risk to crewmembers.
On Tuesday (January 5, 2021), Air New Zealand announced that they will re-route their North American flights with an interim stop in Honolulu to allow flight crew members to overnight in Hawaii rather than in Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO). The change will take effect starting January 11th for cargo flights and February 2nd for passenger flights and is part of the airline’s continued efforts to minimize the COVID-19 risk to aircrews. Crews operating in LAX and SFO will then remain airside and operate the return flights to Honolulu where the crew will be changed for flights back to New Zealand. The goal of re-routing the flights through Honolulu is to allow aircrews to overnight in a lower risk destination.
In Tuesday’s announcement, Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Foran, said,
“While it's important to keep trade routes open and passenger services operating for our customers, looking after our people is our first priority. I'd like to thank everyone who has helped us to move so quickly in re-routing our flights, from officials in New Zealand and the United States, to our ground partners and our teams who have worked through the holiday break to make this happen.”
Air New Zealand has worked closely with their aircrew unions to rapidly implement these operational changes for the health and welfare of crewmembers operating into high risk COVID-19 destinations. The company also continues to work closely with the Government and Ministry of Health to maintain the highest safe travel protocols to protect team members, guests and the community.
Currently, Air New Zealand operates eight cargo and two passenger and cargo services weekly between New Zealand and Los Angeles. The carrier also operates four weekly cargo services to San Francisco and one weekly cargo service between Australia and North America. Air New Zealand guests will not be permitted to terminate their journey in Honolulu. The airline will contact all cargo customers and passengers who will be impacted by these operational changes.
Source: Air New Zealand