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While most airlines are slashing or suspending operations due to Covid-19, Qatar Airways has extended its service for the Doha to Auckland route, to help get more Kiwis home.

The original date of suspension for the airline was April 15, and the service until then was only running four days a week.

The airline has now decided to operate daily flights to New Zealand until April 17, when it will suspend the service until June.


"We appreciate this is a difficult time and that many people around the world are trying to find a way to get home," the airline said in a statement.

"We are constantly reviewing our operations to see where there is more demand and requests, and wherever possible we will add more flights or bigger aircraft. This is a challenging time for the aviation industry and we are thankful to airports and authorities and their staff around the world for their incredible efforts to help us get passengers home."

The Auckland to Doha flight seats 272 passengers a day. Eight additional flights have been put on between April 4 to 17 to help foreign nationals who need to get home to their families.

"We know there are well over 10,000 people registered with various embassies as needing to travel home so we would expect them to fly near capacity outbound," a spokesperson told the Herald.

Emirates, which flies to New Zealand from Dubai, has now grounded crews around the world, following a government directive.

"The airline will resume passenger services as soon as it is possible to do so. In the meantime, Emirates is still busy deploying its fleet of Boeing 777 freighters, bolstering international air cargo links for the transport of vital goods, including medical supplies and food, around the world," the airline said.

Air New Zealand has slashed its passenger flights, while ramping up cargo services.

"With our Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft for example, we have the ability to uplift 11 cargo pallets in each direction we fly. Each of these pallets can take up to 12 cubic metres in volume and up to 4600 kilograms in weight," Air New Zealand said yesterday.


"This is undoubtedly an extremely difficult time for our airline with a significant reduction in capacity due to reduced travel demand, but we are pleased to be able to keep New Zealand connected to the world in this way." The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website