Air New Zealand has announced its policy for international travellers on its airline. From 1 February 2022, the airline will require customers travelling anywhere on its international network to be fully vaccinated.
We’re diving straight into the quote from Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran, who explains the rationale behind the move.
“We’re getting ready to reconnect with the world and letting customers know what they need to do to be ready to take off when we can,” says
“Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the new reality of international travel –many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors. The quicker we get vaccinated, the sooner we can fly Kiwis to places like New York, Vancouver and Narita.
“We’ve been hearing from both customers and employees that this measure is important to them. It came through loud and clear in our recent consultation process with employees and we want to do everything we can to protect them. Mandating vaccination on our international flights will give both customers and employees the peace of mind that everyone onboard meets the same health requirements as they do.”
“It’s not just customers who will be required to be vaccinated – it’s everyone on board an Air New Zealand aircraft travelling internationally, adding to the health and safety measures we already have in place. Another tool in our toolbox.
“As with anything, there will be some that disagree. However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community. We’ll spend the next few months making sure we get this right, ensuring it works as smoothly as possible for our customers. This also gives anyone wanting to travel from next year plenty of time to get their vaccination.
“To take some of the friction out of the travel experience and to help our customers know exactly what they need to travel before even getting to the airport, we’re continuing to work on rolling out the International Air Transport Associations (IATA) Travel Pass app.”
Who will need to be vaccinated?
Air New Zealand’s vaccination requirement will apply to all passengers aged 18 and older arriving or departing Aotearoa on an Air New Zealand aircraft.
Customers who are not vaccinated will be required to present proof that vaccination was not a viable option for them for medical reasons.
Evidencing the vaccination
Air New Zealand will use Using Timatic, the IATA Travel Pass. This will be used to check customers’ health information against flight details to ensure they are meeting entry requirements for that destination, and the airline.
A sign of things to come?
As the world edges open to reopening, new restrictions will be put up as a barrier against transmission of COVID as much as possible – be it through departure testing, ensuring people are vaccinated or testing on arrival.
Air New Zealand is taking the optional part of vaccination out of the equation for its customers, requiring that part to be mandatory.
Whilst other carriers might be able to take to you to New Zealand unvaccinated when the country opens, it will eventually be down to the entry requirements of the country on who it wants to let in.
And maybe being vaccinated will be a requirement.
For those who are planning to travel on Air New Zealand internationally, you’re going to have to factor this into your travel requirements.
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