Air freight options (MyFreight)

The current COVID-19 situation has created a lot of uncertainty for our exporters, particularly around air freight capacity and scheduling. The Government moved quickly to ensure New Zealand has the supplies it needs and to back our exporters by keeping open air channels to key international markets.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) worked with airlines, freight forwarders, exporters and government agencies to support additional charter flights until the International Airfreight Capacity Scheme (IAFC) was announced on 01 May 2020.

The IAFC scheme provides a schedule of weekly flights to a number of global markets. This schedule restores more export markets to more businesses.

For information on flights and availability, or if you have any other enquiries around freight, exporters should contact their preferred freight forwarder.

You can also refer to the FAQ section below.

FAQ section

What is MyFreight?

MyFreight was launched by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) in response to the impact of COVID-19 on New Zealand exporters. NZTE supported additional charter flights to deliver freight capacity, in collaboration with freight forwarders and airlines.

What support did NZTE provide exporters around freight?

NZTE supported the co-ordination of some additional flights to deliver freight capacity, in collaboration with freight forwarders, Air New Zealand and the Ministry of Transport (MOT) who are assisting with funding support.

Did NZTE support New Zealand importers as part of this initiative?

Air New Zealand's chartered flights for exports carried essential goods and equipment on the return leg. The arrangements were utilised for charter flights to collect imports from overseas ports, such as critical imports for the health system and other Government needs, as well as for importers.

Did NZTE charter planes?

No. NZTE supported additional charter flights to deliver freight capacity, in collaboration with freight forwarders, Air New Zealand and the MOT who assisted with funding support.

What kind of freight is suitable for scheduled flights?

Please contact your preferred freight forwarder.

Is the Government working with any airlines outside of Air New Zealand?

Please refer to the Ministry of Transport website.

Why is freight costing so much more than pre-COVID-19?

Airfreight options remain limited and the global airfreight operating model, underpinned by paying passengers, has been completely turned on its head. Paying passengers essentially subsidised freight, and freight-only operations now need to carry most of the costs, at least until passengers return, or the market adapts in other ways. Market rates for airfreight have increased and will stay above pre-COVID-19 rates in the medium to long term.

Why isn't the extra government funding covering the additional cost of freight?

While the Government stepped in temporarily to restore some of the previous air freight capacity via the MOT funding, fully subsidising flights is not economically viable. Market rates for airfreight have increased and will stay above pre-COVID-19 rates in the medium term.

IAFC scheme FAQs

What is the International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) Scheme?

The Ministry of Transport's (MOT) International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) Scheme adds capacity for high-value export cargo and maintains trade links with key global markets. It also ensures there are essential imports such as medical supplies.

How can exporters and importers access the scheduled flights?

Through their usual freight forwarder.

How were the preferred destinations decided?

MOT lead the International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme, and worked closely with MBIE, MPI, NZTE, and Customs to understand the type, volume, and movement of exports and imports, and impacts being seen by exporters. For more information please visit the Ministry of Transport website.

How much is the Government funding each flight?

For any questions around funding, please visit the Ministry of Transport website.

How long does the International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme run for?

The second phase of contracts is expected to be in place until the end of March 2021. For further information please visit the Ministry of Transport website.