Following cuts to Air New Zealand's flight maps, Kiwi travellers may be left looking for other ways to get to some of their favourite holiday destinations.

The national carrier announced plans to close some services after what it calls a "challenging year."

The airline announced in an email to customers that it would no longer be flying to Vietnam and Toyko's Haneda Airport. Routes to Argentina and Taipei will also be reduced, with changes set to go into effect by 2019.

The announcement comes after pressure on Air New Zealand to rethink domestic services and "over-crowded lounges."

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However, CEO Christopher Luxton said "the biggest challenge has been the unscheduled global maintenance issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines."

"I really do apologise and thank you for your patience and support of the airline at this time," Luxton wrote in the email, addressing what the airline refers to as "operational challenges."

The engines used to power the fleet of Dreamliner 787s were recalled earlier this year after damage was found to engines on trans-Pacific flights.

Since then, only eight of the company's thirteen Dreamliner 787 planes have been operational at any one time.

Illustration, NZ Herald
Illustration, NZ Herald

These planes service popular long distance routes, including Los Angeles and Houston, and have put increased pressure on Pacific flights.

But what does this mean for holiday planners?

As news comes of reduced flights and some popular holiday spots coming off the flight map, we've come up with a set of alternative routes to get you to your final destination.

In some cases, we've taken the liberty of suggesting some emerging holiday hot spots which might not yet be on your radar.

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Here's our guide to the Air New Zealand cuts and what it means for your next trip abroad:

Alternative routes

Chiang Mai: On the radar for a South-East Asian adventure. Photo / Pakin Songmor, Getty Images
Chiang Mai: On the radar for a South-East Asian adventure. Photo / Pakin Songmor, Getty Images

Vietnam

After Air New Zealand pull their route, there will be no direct flights to Vietnam.
The last chopper to Ho Chi Minh City is scheduled for 2019, but we've come up with an alternative holiday escape route.

Another fare: Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airways fly to Ho Chi Minh via Hong Kong, Singapore Airlines fly via Singapore Changi and Qantas and Jetstar fly via Melbourne and Sydney.

Alternative destination:
Chiang Mai: The Thai mountain kingdom is now on the radar for a South East Asian adventure. Easily reached from the Thai capitalof Bangkok, Chiang Mai's temples and hilltop fortress are beckoning Kiwi travellers. It's also only a short distance from neighbouring Laos and North Vietnam is only 700km away, should you be determined to push on through.

Direct flights to Bangkok are operated by Thai Airlines.

Okinawa: Take the chance to venture further afield to Japan's Pacific islands. Photo / Getty Images
Okinawa: Take the chance to venture further afield to Japan's Pacific islands. Photo / Getty Images

Tokyo Haneda

2019 is the big year for rugby fans heading to Japan. However, news that Air New Zealand will no longer be flying into the Japanese city's central airport may kick some travellers' plans into touch.

Another fare: Air New Zealand is still flying to Tokyo's Narita Airport in the Chiba Prefecture – though this is significantly further from the action.

Another destination:
Okinawa: You won't want to miss out on the rugby when things kick off in Japan next September. However, it might be a chance to use a layover over to see a little more of the Japanese islands. With the All Blacks' opening matches in Yokohama, Oita and Toyota - it's a chance to visit the imperial shogunate of Osaka, the subtropical Miyazaki or venture even further afield to the Japanese Pacific islands of Okinawa.

Cathay Pacific operate flights to Miyazaki via Hong Kong and Tokyo, and flights to Osaka via Hong Kong; Hong Kong Airlines fly to Okinawa via Hong Kong.

Torres del Paine: Argentine blue national park. Photo / Anton Petrus, Getty Images
Torres del Paine: Argentine blue national park. Photo / Anton Petrus, Getty Images

Argentina

Air New Zealand has gone for a leaner schedule for its 2019 route to Buenos Aires, the Argentinian capital of red meat and tango.

Another fare: LATAM, Qantas and KLM share routes to Buenos Aires with stops in Santiago.

Another destination:
Patagonia is a destination opening up to more adventurous travellers. Torres del Paine National Park is a spectacular landscape of mountain glaciers and Argentine blue waters. Think of it like the Fiordland of South America - only bigger, beefier and blissfully untouched.

Meanwhile the Ushuaia resort on the Tierra del Fuego is holds more creature comforts but no less wow-factor as the gateway to Antarctica.

LATAM flies from Auckland to Punta Arenas direct; or to Ushuaia with stops via Santiago and Buenos Aires Palermo