Nobody can buy tickets out of Cook Islands for the rest of the month, Air New Zealand says, but existing paid bookings will be honoured if there is space available in quarantine hotels.
The airline made the announcement yesterday, following a request from the New Zealand Government, to help ensure that country is able to provide quarantine accommodation for inbound passengers for the required 14-day period.
Air New Zealand external communications manager Anna Cross said they were not expecting any customer impact this week. “But we will be proactively contacting customers if they are impacted,” she said.
New Zealand’s High Commission to Cook Islands said at this stage they had not received anything from their counterparts to add, about the hold put on new bookings on international services.
Air New Zealand chief commercial and customer Officer Cam Wallace said the airline had been working closely with the government to understand how it could support the New Zealand Government’s efforts to contain Covid-19 at the border.
“We accept this is a necessary short-term measure given the limited capacity in quarantine facilities and we’re keen to do what we can to help New Zealand’s continued success in its fight against Covid-19.”
The Air New Zealand contact centre is currently experiencing very high demand, and says customers are also welcome to contact the airline via its social media channels.
Outbound Air New Zealand services from New Zealand to international ports are not affected by the New Zealand Government restrictions.
Last week Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown talked with New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, and reiterated Cook Islands requests for the removal of quarantine requirements for travellers from Cook Islands to New Zealand.
Peters has tasked his officials to explore the potential for removal of the 14-day supervised quarantine for certain categories of travellers from the Cook Islands to New Zealand such as accompanying a family member for health referrals; members of the judiciary; medical personnel and critical infrastructure personnel.