Air New Zealand’s October trans-Tasman timetable sees Sydney bypassed in favor of flights to six other destinations in Australia. However, with New Zealand and Australia both pausing their quarantine-free travel corridor, the chances of many trans-Tasman flights operating at all are slight.
Air New Zealand has already suspended its Australian flights in the wake of COVID-19 outbreaks in both countries and the pause of the travel corridor.
Now, in an advisory issued on Thursday, Air New Zealand has listed regular passenger flights to Perth, Adelaide, Hobart Melbourne, Gold Coast, and Brisbane between September 25 and October 30. But the airline noted it would not schedule passenger flights into Sydney over the period.
Multiple Air New Zealand flights slated for Melbourne next month
Commencing Saturday, September 25, Air New Zealand has timetabled in a daily Boeing 787-9 service between Auckland and Melbourne. NZ123 will depart AKL at 08:55 each morning until October 30. Out of Melbourne, NZ124 pushes back at 12:05.
Melbourne will also see Air New Zealand flights from Wellington, Queenstown, and Christchurch. Operated by an A320neo, NZ255 will depart Wellington (WLG) at 06:05 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings through to October 30. The return service, NZ250, departs Melbourne at 18:15 on the same day.
Out of Queenstown (ZQN), NZ265 will depart at 15:30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The return service, NZ264, pushes back from Melbourne at 09:20 on the same day.
Three flights a week are also scheduled to come in from Christchurch. After a couple of different departure times, NZ213 settles into a 10:45 departure from CHC on Fridays, Sundays, and Wednesdays over October. An Airbus A320neo operates this flight. The return sector, NZ, 214, departs MEL at 14:00 on the same day.
With local cases of COVID-19 rising again in Melbourne, the chances of the majority of these flights operating are remote.
Gold Coast flights planned but not yet scheduled
Brisbane also sees flights scheduled from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown between September 25 and October 30. Ramping up to four flights a week, an Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 will operate NZ141 out of Auckland at 09:15 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The return flight, NZ146, pushes back from Brisbane at 11:15 on the same days.
Air New Zealand A320neos are also timetabled to fly to Brisbane three times a week from Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown.
Air New Zealand notes it is planning flights to the Gold Coast over October. However, at the time of writing, the airline’s website has not listed the flights. In its advisory, Air New Zealand states it plans to fly between Auckland and the Gold Coast three to four times a week until October 30.
Hobart will continue to see its government-subsidized Air New Zealand flights scheduled. Operating as NZ197, an Air New Zealand A320neo will leave AKL at 09:00 on Thursdays and Sundays through to October 30. The flight back to Auckland, NZ198, will depart HBA at 12:30 on the same day.
Out of Auckland, NZ191 will fly to Adelaide on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The A321neo will depart Auckland at 08:40. The return flight, NZ192, pushes back from ADL at 12:15 on the same days.
Finally, Air New Zealand plans to fly to Perth three times a week from Auckland over October. However, this is not yet reflected in the published schedules. There are sporadic instances of a 10:50 departure from Auckland, NZ175, using a 787-9 Dreamliner. Out of Perth, there are also scattered instances of NA176 pushing back at 18:45 for the overnight flight back to Auckland.
With Sydney dropped, will the remainder of the trans-Tasman flights fly?
Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast are all presently unaffected by lockdowns and local cases of COVID-19. But the critical Air New Zealand destinations of Melbourne and Sydney are shut down and set to stay that way over October.
Air New Zealand has already dropped Sydney over October. Considering the deteriorating situation in Melbourne, it is passing strange the airline continues to schedule so many flights to Australia’s second-biggest city over October.
Until the quarantine-free travel corridor reopens (and it isn’t likely to anytime soon), trans-Tasman passenger traffic will remain thin. It makes Air New Zealand’s latest trans-Tasman schedules highly optimistic and, in the case of Melbourne, almost certain not to operate.