The government has announced a $330 million scheme to help restore international air freight capacity.
The scheme, which will add an initial 56 weekly cargo flights from New Zealand, provides capacity for high-value export cargo and maintains trade links with key global markets. It also ensures there are essential imports such as medical supplies, Transport Minister Phil Twyford says.
The minister says charter flights organised at the beginning of the pandemic, aimed at ensuring the country had the crucial supplies it needed and to back NZ exporters, only allowed businesses to export to a limited number of markets.
“There is a huge demand for air freight, at a time when capacity is limited," Minister Twyford says. “This new schedule restores more export markets to more businesses and with greater frequency."
Air New Zealand's Rick Nelson says, “This agreement will add significant value to New Zealand’s air cargo community, and we encourage the New Zealand forwarding, export and import communities to get behind these cargo options.”
The minister says the short-term scheme provides funding to guarantee cargo on key routes under agreements with carriers and will be reassessed as the market recovers.