Kiwis in Australia fear they won't be able to return home because no direct Air New Zealand flights between the countries appear to be available until the end of the month.

Air NZ's website shows no available flights from cities such as Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra or Sydney to Auckland until late July.

The earliest flight that appears to be available to buy tickets for online flies from Canberra to Auckland on July 27.

The confusion has left Kiwis in Australia in the dark about whether they can urgently return home or not.

The earliest Air New Zealand flight that appears to be available to buy tickets for online flies from Canberra to Auckland on July 27.
The earliest Air New Zealand flight that appears to be available to buy tickets for online flies from Canberra to Auckland on July 27.

One affected New Zealander told the Herald they were trying to book tickets to Auckland from Brisbane to no avail.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, is due to start a new job in Auckland at the end of the month and wanted to fly home as soon as possible.

"I looked online for flights from other cities, but there's nothing anywhere," he said.

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On Saturday, at least three services were scheduled between the two cities, but now there appeared to be none, he said.

"I just don't know what to do. I need to get home."

He called the Air New Zealand helpline but hung up after being kept on hold for over an hour, he said.

Some flights - albeit costly services - were listed on the Skyscanner website between the two countries, but none is a direct flight.

Services from Sydney to Auckland this weekend involve Air New Zealand and another airline, such as Jetstar or Qantas, with a stop in Melbourne.


Air New Zealand last week cancelled its services from Auckland to Melbourne after a strict directive that no international passengers were to arrive into Melbourne from July 1 to July 14.

But its Melbourne to Auckland passenger services would continue to operate "as demand requires," the company said in a statement.

The man had spoken to others online in a similar situation who said they'd booked tickets on other websites, such as Skyscanner, only to have their bookings cancelled at the last minute.

Others had had their Air New Zealand bookings changed and were unsure if they were able to fly home at all, he said.

Rival airline Jetstar appears to have no spaces on any of its New Zealand-bound flights for more than a week, with the earliest flights available on July 17.

Air New Zealand and Jetstar have been contacted for comment.


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The dilemma follows shambolic scenes at Auckland Airport over the weekend as Brisbane-bound passengers were removed from an overloaded Air New Zealand flight.

Police were called to the Customs hall after the passengers became angry when Air New Zealand told them they would have to pay for their accommodation, meals and other costs in quarantine.

Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer, Cam Wallace shares a message. Video / Air New Zealand

Passengers were told they would instead leave New Zealand on Tuesday.

Desiraye Solomon and her daughter, Delia Brown, were on the flight returning to the Gold Coast after visiting her father in Wellington who had suffered a heart attack.

They offered to get off the full flight after the captain advised passengers it was overweight and off-balance, but other passengers were randomly picked off a list, she said.


Solomon said other passengers told they had to leave included an elderly woman, another mother and daughter, a mother with a young child and a group of four male teenagers.

Passengers were then given an Air New Zealand letter signed by an unnamed "airport manager" saying they would have to pay for quarantine accommodation and book their own flights.

Air New Zealand later apologised to the passengers for the inconvenience and said they were given wrong information about quarantine when they disembarked.

Meanwhile the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has warned that upcoming international flights to Sydney will be subject to a cap on arrivals and flights could be cancelled.

A limit of 450 passengers per day will be applied to international flights arriving in the city, with a maximum of 50 passengers per incoming flight, as Sydney's bulging quarantine facilities faced continued pressure.

Travellers flying into Sydney from Britain have been warned they may be asked to arrive in another Australian city and should plan for potential disruptions.