The $12.1 billion COVID-19 support package announced by the Minister of Finance in March 2020 included a $600 million initial aviation support package. Cabinet allocated up to $330m for two measures to be administered by the Ministry of Transport and NZTE is also providing support to exporters. 

International Air Freight Capacity (IAFC) Scheme

The International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme adds capacity to maintain trade links with global markets, to enable essential imports such as medical supplies and for high value export cargo.

As announced by the Minister of Transport on 2 May 2020, contracts under Phase 1 have now been awarded and will restore capacity to the market with 56 weekly flights from New Zealand.

The first successful applicants are Air New Zealand, China Airlines, Emirates, Freightways Express, Qantas and Tasman Cargo. We are working with other carriers, and expect to make further announcements shortly.

Successful applicants and routes are listed below. For more detail about these routes, contact your preferred freight forwarder or see the NZ Trade and Enterprise website.(external link)

Provider Route Flights per week
China Airlines Auckland – Taipei – Auckland 2
Emirates  Auckland – Melbourne – Dubai – Auckland 3
Christchurch – Sydney – Dubai - Christchurch 1
Freightways  Auckland – Melbourne– Auckland  5
Auckland – Sydney – Auckland 5
Tasman Cargo Auckland – Sydney – Auckland 1
Air New Zealand Auckland – Shanghai – Auckland 3
Auckland – Hong Kong – Auckland 4
Auckland – Narita – Auckland 2
Auckland – Sydney – Auckland 5
Christchurch – Sydney – Christchurch 1
Auckland – Melbourne – Auckland 5
Christchurch – Melbourne – Christchurch 1
Auckland – Brisbane – Auckland 3
Auckland – Los Angeles – Auckland 6
Auckland – San Francisco – Auckland 2
Auckland – Rarotonga – Auckland 1
Auckland – Nadi – Auckland 1
Auckland – Apia – Auckland 1
Auckland – Tonga – Auckland 1
Auckland – Niue – Auckland 1
Qantas Christchurch – Sydney – Christchurch 2
Total     56

Due to airspace restrictions, Air NZ has some constraints operating to destinations in the Pacific Islands. Pacific Island routes will be funded under specific criteria reflecting how these routes support wider regional objectives.

Phase 1 procurement documents

RFP for International Air Freight Capacity [PDF, 893 KB]

RFP for International Air Freight Capacity Addendum [PDF, 619 KB] 

International Air Freight Capacity RFP: Response to common questions [PDF, 465 KB] 

International RFP Response Form [DOCX, 115 KB]

[DRAFT] Grant Funding Agreement [PDF, 816 KB]

International Air Freight Capacity RFP Comparison of Terms and Conditions [PDF, 544 KB]

Subsequent phases

The process for subsequent phases is still being developed. We are closely monitoring the international airfreight market, and will respond based on how the COVID-19 response evolves.

Please email if you have any questions about the scheme.

Dealing with other immediate risks and opportunities in the air freight sector as they arise

As well as the Air Freight Support Scheme set out above, Cabinet authorised funding to be released to respond to urgent and immediate risks and opportunities to support the air freight sector. These are considered on a case by case basis, where there is a high degree of urgency and a strong case for government intervention. Enquiries for access to this funding should be made through   

NZTE support for immediate export requirements

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is supporting co-ordination of some additional flights to deliver freight capacity. For more information see the NZ Trade and Enterprise website(external link) or contact