Air New Zealand said it has secured a further five months of support for cargo flights under the Government’s extended Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme, with Vancouver being added to the mix.
In a statement, it said with the MIAC scheme now extended from November 1 2021 through to March 31, 2022, the scheme will ensure additional and much-needed air freight capacity is available over the summer peak so high value New Zealand goods can get to market.
Anna Palairet, Air New Zealand general manager Cargo, said over the summer New Zealand produce is in high demand, particularly New Zealand lamb that’s flown to the UK for Christmas, Kiwi cherries into Asia and capsicums up to Japan and across to Australia.
“Our busy export season runs from November through to March so it’s excellent to see the MIAC financial support scheme extended to cover this five-month period, giving our customers the certainty they need to operate their businesses,” Palairet said, adding that the extension helps keep New Zealand connected to key markets like North America, China, Taipei, Japan, Korea, Australia and the Pacific Islands.
“The addition of Vancouver means that businesses exporting chilled meat, seafood and fresh produce will have direct access to Canada over the seasonal peak. The MIAC scheme has been a lifeline for our business since COVID started. Because of it, there hasn’t been a single day where an international Air New Zealand flight hasn’t taken off, carrying cargo and/or bringing home more than 70,000 Kiwis from overseas,” she added.
Since this Government support scheme came into effect in May 2020, the airline has flown nearly 7,000 flights, carrying over 100,000 tonnes of cargo into and out of New Zealand.