Have some stored-up wanderlust?

Air New Zealand is steadily ramping up it overseas services.

Auckland flights to Singapore joined Los Angeles and Vancouver this week, with San Francisco following on April 14 and Honolulu on July 4. From July 5-7, flights will resume to Tahiti, New Caledonia, Houston, Cairns, Adelaide, and Hobart (a new service). 

Christchurch will add the Gold Coast on July 3 and Nadi on July 5 to existing flights to Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.

Wellington’s international links resumed with flights to Brisbane this week. Melbourne and Sydney will follow on April 4 and 5 respectively. Queenstown flights to Brisbane and Melbourne will resume on June 24, with Sydney on June 26. 

Globally, airline seats are nearing 90% of pre-Covid levels in 2019. In our Southwest Pacific region, capacity has increased to just below 2 million seats, which is 30% down on the corresponding week in 2019. 

Before grabbing your international seat, consider …

Increased air travel is not good news for the environment. Globally, aviation accounts for about 2.4% of CO2 emissions. NZ’s aviation emissions per capita are the 6th highest globally, about ten times the world average.

Aircraft manufacturers are aggressively exploring fuel options to reduce their carbon emissions – e.g., Airbus is successfully testing engines fuelled by used cooking oil.

France is taking a different approach – abolishing domestic flights that can be covered by train in 2.5 hours or less.

At COP26 in Glasgow last November, New Zealand along with twenty-two other countries joined the “International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition”, committing to “Preparing up-to-date state action plans detailing ambitious and concrete national action to reduce aviation emissions.” These are to be prepared by September this year.

Here is an excellent overview of global efforts to curb aviation emissions and how they relate to New Zealand, prepared by Robert McLachlan (Massey) and Paul Callister (Victoria University) for the latter’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies.

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