The operator of a private charter flight due to leave India for Auckland asks all passengers
to produce negative Covid-19 tests before being boarding.
Auckland travel firm Sehion Tours is chartering a Singapore Airlines A350-900 between Kochi, India and Auckland.
The airline's long-haul A350s can carry 253 passengers, and Sehion director Sijo Abraham said so far it had about 200 bookings.
It will fly from the city of about three million via Singapore where it will refuel while passengers stay on board.
Abraham said passengers would be issued masks and have to produce a negative Covid test taken within three days.
India has set a record for the number of Covid-19 cases in single day, topping 90,000 earlier this week and, with a total of nearly 4.4 million cases, trails only the United States in total numbers.
Seventeen people on an Air India New Delhi-Auckland flight have since tested positive for Covid since arriving here.
Abraham said his firm had not had any problems with a previous charter from Kochi, a port city on India's southwest coast.
One-way tickets for the flight cost $2800. He said many New Zealand residents and visa holders had already returned to this country and most of those who were still in India were New Zealand work visa holders.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says the Kochi flight is commercially operated, and not organised by the New Zealand Government.
"We encourage those interested in purchasing tickets to familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of the flight, as this will be a private commercial operation and the only contractual arrangement is between the passengers and the provider."
The New Zealand Government since April has chartered 10 Air India flights, three Air NZ flights and a commercially-run private charter flight.
So far more than 3000 people have been repatriated from India.
"More flights are expected to occur, subject to ongoing availability of space in managed isolation and quarantine facilities. We are currently working to confirm a forward schedule of flights to align with the availability of space in managed isolation and quarantine facilities," Mfat says.