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Auckland, New Zealand - Air New Zealand has signed an agreement with the government to transport cargo to keep the country's critical logistic lines open.

The air freight capacity of the country is significantly reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this agreement, New Zealand's government aims to enable local importers and exporters to reach the key international markets.

Air New Zealand General Manager Cargo Rick Nelson says cargo customers will be able to access capacity across Air New Zealand’s traditional network, with a handful of exceptions.

“The new agreement means Air New Zealand can publish scheduled cargo services into key markets which will allow freight forwarders, exporters, and importers to plan and operate their logistics supply chains with certainty. We are working to offer connectivity to and from the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as Houston and Chicago via Los Angeles and San Francisco, Hong Kong and Narita gateways,"

Nelson said.

Air New Zealand has no Freighter fleet dedicated to the Air Cargo business. The carrier transports cargo in the cargo holds of the passenger planes. Nelson did not disclose if Air New Zealand will convert some of its passenger planes to the freighter to carry cargo in the passenger cabins of the planes.

Many airlines around the world removed the passenger seats to increase their cargo capacity. Manufacturers like ATR, De Havilland and Airbus offer their customers quick solutions to transform their passenger aircraft to freighter.
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