The $12.1 billion COVID-19 support package announced by the Minister of Finance last week included a $600 million initial aviation support package. Cabinet has agreed to allocate up to $330m of the $600m funding to two measures to provide support the aviation sector through the Ministry of Transport. And NZTE is providing support to exporters.

Air freight support scheme – requests for proposals sought

The deadline for proposals has been extended to midday Friday 3 April.

This scheme provides up to $330 million over at least a six-month period to ensure critical airfreight capability is maintained.

The RFP and associated documentation for the first round allocation under the scheme:

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

RFP for International Air Freight Capacity Addendum [PDF, 619 KB] Potential applicants to whom we provided a copy of the RFP direct received this information by email on Saturday 28 March.

International Air Freight Capacity RFP: Response to common questions [PDF, 465 KB] Potential applicants to whom we provided a copy of the RFP direct received this information by email on Wednesday 1 April. 

International RFP Response Form [DOCX, 115 KB]

Grant Funding Agreement [PDF, 816 KB]

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

The RFP sets out an open market process under which air freight providers will receive grants (or potentially other forms of financial support) to enable them to deliver freight capacity on key routes to the market that would otherwise be uneconomic.

Proposals are sought from passenger airlines, air freighters, and others in the air freight sector – whether they already operate on the proposed route or not. We are looking to provide support in the form of grants for the first 2 months, and moving to other forms of support after that, but there is flexibility available.

We will evaluate proposals with a view to recommending to Ministers, from all the Proposals submitted by Applicants, a portfolio of routes and Proposals that we consider offers the best overall public value in contributing to the primary and secondary objectives set out in the RFP.

Responses are sought by 12pm on 3 April 2020, with applicants expected to be notified of the outcome soon thereafter, and contract finalisation from 21 April. We appreciate that all of these deadlines are extremely tight especially in the current circumstances, and we are asking for information to support the proposals. 

After the first round, we may run subsequent rounds or other allocation for any unallocated funds and unmet needs.

Collaboration, both with other participants in the sector and freight customers, is important. A proposal is much more likely to be successful if it meets an existing and identified customer need to ship priority goods, and is submitted with that customer’s endorsement.

Further details on what applications are expected to show are set out in the attached Request for Proposals and Template Response Form.

Contact if you have any questions.

Dealing with other immediate risks and opportunities 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 aviation system. These will be 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 – next four weeks

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is supporting co-ordination of some additional flights to deliver freight capacity. Exporters or freight forwarders interested in using this capacity should contact setting out type of goods, quantity, New Zealand shipping port, overseas destination port and frequency. A case should also be made as to why these goods should be freighted – what will happen if they are not.

Importers requiring urgent supplies with high-priority goods such as medical supplies which they are unable to organise shipment of should also contact, setting out the same information as required for exporters.

NZTE will deal with airlines directly on this – approaches from airlines are not required under this initiative.