Air New Zealand has begun an impressive repatriation program to India, having launched its first service to Delhi on 22 April. The airline, which has already operated a number of repatriation services around the globe, has a number of other flights to India planned over the coming days.
Air New Zealand will be operating services to both Delhi and Mumbai, India's two most recognised cities. The carrier will be using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on these services, offering 342 seats on an approximately 15 hours and 30 minutes flight.
Air New Zealand says there are three direct return services scheduled, connecting Auckland with Delhi and Auckland with Mumbai.
"We're pleased to be able to assist the New Zealand Government with these repatriation flights to bring Kiwis home," explains Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer Captain David Morgan. Morgan continues: "There's always an additional level of complexity to a repatriation mission when landing at a new location. Our teams are highly experienced in managing such a detailed operation, and we have been working closely with both governments to ensure safety is the number one priority."
On 22 April, the airline operated its first flight to India with a service to Delhi. The Boeing 777-300ER, registered ZK-OKO, departed Auckland at 11:46, arriving in Delhi at 20:38. Flight time was 15 hours and 23 minutes as NZ1954. The aircraft is scheduled to return to Auckland at 1:50am tomorrow morning, arriving back in Auckland at 23:30.