Air Chathams is bracing itself for life after Covid-19 as the aviation landscape begins to shift with the impact of Covid-19.
The airline, which serves Whanganui, has gone from 120 scheduled flights a week to six.
"It's been very difficult," Air Chathams general manager, Duane Emeny, said.
Flights now are predominately freight and include three return flights to the Chatham Islands funded through the Government's air freight fund.
The majority of domestic travel had been stopped during the lockdown period meaning smaller regions such as Whanganui had no domestic air service at all, Emeny said.
"In some ways, obviously, it's been very hard for the airline and our sales have gone from levels that we were able to maintain a good reliable air service to near nothing."
He said it was good they had been able to secure some central government funding and had good assistance through their bank and the Chatham Islands enterprise trust group.
"As part of that funding that's actually allowed us as an airline to effectively go into hibernation, because the majority of our workforce is Auckland-based now," Emeny said.
Emeny said the airline was coming up to renew its brand certificate and the lockdown period had given the administrative and management team time to start working through renewal manuals and housekeeping tasks.
So far, Emeny said they had been able to "maintain pretty much our entire workforce using the wage subsidy scheme".
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The company had several staff leaving before the impact of Covid-19 hit.
He said they were able to put an employment proposal together quickly and Air Chathams chief executive Craig Emeny called every employee individually and discussed their situation and all staff gave their approval for the proposal.
The company had about 150 staff and the majority had been able to connect with each other via Zoom video calls, which had proved beneficial, Emeny said.
Emeny said when the country moved back to alert level 3, he did not see there being any scope for them to be able to fly domestically.
"I think, looking at it realistically, we kind of need level 1 before we have any sort of confidence to resume our domestic schedules."
He said their focus was to ensure Air Chathams was in a position to best capitalise on the opportunities in the changing environment that would come from the economic impact of Covid-19.
"The speed at which we resume scheduled flights will certainly be affected by the joint support and funding agreements we can establish with those organisations that have a demand for air connectivity to be reinstated," he said.
Air New Zealand has announced it will now operate on a limited schedule, with return flights between Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.