Essential Transport Connectivity (ETC) Scheme 

Maintaining a network that delivers effective regional connectivity is vital for New Zealand's social and economic wellbeing, and is critical for the COVID-19 recovery.

The Essential Transport Connectivity (ETC) scheme provides support for transport providers over the short to medium term. The goal of the ETC scheme is to ensure capacity, regional connectivity and essential services are maintained in the wake of COVID-19.

Applications for ETC funding support are considered on a case by case basis. At a high level, applicants are expected to meet the following:

  • Have exhausted all other sources of funding support (including Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Package, bank loans, support from shareholders etc.).
  • Taken all available and reasonable operational and commercial measures to ride-out the impact of COVID-19 and/or right-size.
  • Requirements for one of the categories in the table below (airports/airlines, aviation support services, non-aviation services).

Airports and airlines

Be able to show they support regional connectivity and are key to the recovery of domestic and/or international aviation.

Aviation support services

Be able to show they are essential to the aviation sector and that without it, the operation and recovery of the aviation system would be significantly impeded.

Non-aviation services

Meet at least one of the following:

·       support economic activity, including maintaining the core transport network and/or critical supply chain

·       support inclusive access including enabling all people to access social and economic opportunities

·       the service is critical for emergency and resilience purposes.

As well as both of the following:

·       No substitutable service now or in the short term

·       If the service fails, there is low probability of a market resolution within a reasonable timeframe


Generally, taxi companies, rental car companies, tourism operators, and aviation operators who do not run scheduled services will not be eligible. Tourism operators may be eligible for MBIE’s tourism recovery package(external link).

More information

For more information, including to request details on the application process and/or a copy of the application form, email