Air New Zealand has cancelled passenger services to Melbourne for two weeks as the city experiences a spike in Covid-19 cases.
In a media statement the airline said due to Australian government restrictions it would not operate passenger services from Auckland to Melbourne from July 1 to July 14.
“The airline received a directive late last night that no international passengers are eligible to arrive into Melbourne for the next two weeks in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19 within the local community.”
The airline was due to operate two return services to Melbourne on Wednesday.
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NZ123 from Auckland to Melbourne was now operating as a cargo only flight, with NZ124 operating with inbound passengers to Auckland.
NZ127 and NZ128 today were cancelled.
Melbourne to Auckland passenger services would continue to operate as demand required, the airline said.
Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, said he had asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to divert international flights away from the city for the next two weeks.
On Tuesday Victoria recorded its fourteenth consecutive day of double-digit growth in confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 64 new cases, following 75 on Monday.
The majority of cases have been from community transmission, prompting Andrews to order a lockdown of hot spot postcodes from 11.59pm on Wednesday until at least July 29.
They include the suburbs of Ascot Vale, Broadmeadows, Craigieburn and Fawkner.
Air New Zealand is operating a skeleton international schedule due to the impact of Covid-19 on air travel.
Its only Melbourne flights are three weekly return services from Auckland.
The reduced schedule will apply through to August 31.
The airline’s contact centre was experiencing high call volumes and customers were asked to defer non-urgent calls.