Cabin crew are concerned working on managed isolation flights followed by another flight for the general public could spark a second wave of coronavirus in the community.

But Air New Zealand has dismissed the concerns, saying it is taking appropriate measures and taking advice from its own medical team and the Ministry of Health on the few isolation flights it did run.

Last week Air New Zealand only operated one flight carrying people to managed isolation facilities between Wellington and Auckland.

However an Air New Zealand employee has raised concern that crew were not stood down after working on the flight transferring people to managed isolation facilities.

Advertisement

Hours later without being given Covid-19 tests, the same crew were working on another flight carrying the general public, she said.

The crew member was frustrated neither Air New Zealand or the Ministry of Health was taking their concerns seriously and that the protocols were not being changed.

Air New Zealand general manager of cabin crew Leeanne Langridge said Air New Zealand had assessed the risks according to international best practice when operating these flights.

Crew wore gloves to prevent transmission through touch and masks during all face-to-face interactions and service with customers to prevent transmission via droplets. Customers on managed isolation flights were also required to wear masks.

"We communicate with our crew members regularly to remind them of the importance of adhering to the requirements set down to keep them safe while they are working. Crew have several channels through which they can provide feedback or raise concerns – including through our aviation medicine team, their manager, or their union delegate."

Crew who did not wish to work on the managed isolation flights could opt out, she said.

"Our crew are doing a great job at keeping themselves and our customers safe while keeping New Zealanders connected with each other and they have our full support."

A Ministry of Health spokesperson said the framework for transporting new passengers to managed isolation facilities included requirements such as both passengers and crews to wear masks and there were not to be any members of the public onboard.

The requirements were similar to those for crew on international flights and if they followed these they were not required to self isolate afterwards.

Advertisement