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Air New Zealand SUSPENDS booking on its flights to Australia

Air New Zealand, the only airline running flights across the Tasman Sea, has put a booking hold on flights to Australia for the next month.

The flagship Kiwi carrier won’t take bookings to Australia until August 28 because of government restrictions.

Australia has a cap of 30 passengers per flight into Sydney and Brisbane, and there’s a blanket ban on international arrivals to Melbourne until August 8.  

The nation has been hit hard by a second wave of COVID-19, particularly in the state of Victoria which recorded 295 new cases in a 24-hour period on Tuesday. 

Air New Zealand (planes pictured), the only airline running flights across the Tasman Sea, has put a booking hold on flights to Australia for the next month

Air New Zealand (planes pictured), the only airline running flights across the Tasman Sea, has put a booking hold on flights to Australia for the next month

Air New Zealand (planes pictured), the only airline running flights across the Tasman Sea, has put a booking hold on flights to Australia for the next month

The Air New Zealand chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace said the airline extended the booking hold for an extra 20 days to prevent further disruptions to customers schedules if the Australian government extended flight restrictions.

‘We know there are people wanting to head home to Australia at this time and we’ll be ready to fly them as soon as we are able to accommodate more passengers,’ chief commercial officer Cam Wallace said on Wednesday. 

On Tuesday, Mr Wallace announced its international flight schedule between September 1 and October 31, resulting in a ‘new tranche of cancellations’ for bookings made before COVID-19.

Air New Zealand also agreed to extended a booking freeze on international arrivals earlier this week from July 29 to August 9. Pictured: Nelson Bay Airport in New Zealand in June

Air New Zealand also agreed to extended a booking freeze on international arrivals earlier this week from July 29 to August 9. Pictured: Nelson Bay Airport in New Zealand in June

Air New Zealand also agreed to extended a booking freeze on international arrivals earlier this week from July 29 to August 9. Pictured: Nelson Bay Airport in New Zealand in June

Air New Zealand also agreed to extended a booking freeze on international arrivals earlier this week from July 29 to August 9.

The extension was granted at the request of the Ardern government to reduce pressure on the nation’s isolation facilities. 

The Australian outbreak has set back plans for the two countries to create a ‘travel bubble’ which would ease their strict border restrictions.

New Zealand has only had two confirmed cases of the virus yesterday, with every new arrival quarantined at the border.  

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