Flight NZ1954 departed Auckland International Airport yesterday morning, and two subsequent flights are due to depart over the coming days. The Air New Zealand aircraft will pick up travellers in Delhi and Mumbai before returning directly to New Zealand.
A team of Air New Zealand employees, including six pilots, fourteen cabin crew and one ramp support staff member, have volunteered to operate these repatriation flights.
Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer Captain David Morgan says the airline is looking forward to welcoming Kiwis back on to home soil.
"We're pleased to be able to assist the New Zealand Government with these repatriation flights to bring Kiwis home.
"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."
Three direct, return flights are scheduled between Auckland–Delhi and Auckland–Mumbai between 22–30 April.
Air New Zealand continues to work with various governments on repatriation flights.
India charter details:
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300
Expected flight time: Approx. 15.5 hours
Capacity: 342 seats