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.

The International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme, announced on 1st May 2020, builds on that support, with a schedule of weekly flights to a greater number of global markets. This new schedule restores more export markets to more businesses and with greater frequency.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is working with airlines, freight forwarders, exporters and government agencies to support additional charter flights, where demand requires.

Air freight options

Scheduled air freight options

View regularly scheduled freight flights.

Chartered air freight options

Outside of the scheduled services, freight flights are chartered to meet demand.

Singapore-New Zealand Airfreight Project

A COVID-19 initiative providing a dedicated channel for essential supplies for New Zealand and Singapore.

FAQ section

What is MyFreight?

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

What support is NZTE providing exporters around freight?

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is supporting 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.

Air New Zealand is making its 787-9 fleet available for belly-hold air cargo charter flights to most of its regular destinations. The charter flights are available at a cost that excludes most fixed overheads on the routes, reducing the overall cost of a charter. We are working on providing a price schedule for flights. This will be made available shortly.

NZTE is working with Air New Zealand, freight forwarders, exporters and government agencies to ensure the right capacity is available at the right times. NZTE will endeavour to provide daily updates on current air freight capacity on a number of international flights. View our Flight Availability section above to find out more.

Is NZTE supporting New Zealand importers as part of this initiative?

Air New Zealand's chartered flights for exports will also carry essential goods and equipment on the return leg. The arrangements can also be 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.

For all other inbound freight, including high-priority goods such as materials critical to your supply chain, contact myfreight@nzte.govt.nz and this information will be provided to Air New Zealand.

What funding support does NZTE have available to assist exporters with freight?

The Air New Zealand export and import charter arrangements involve New Zealand-based freight forwarders, NZTE, with funding support provided by the MOT.

The funding arrangement has been set up between the MOT, NZTE and Air New Zealand.

Please note there is no individual funding for exporters or importers in relation to air freight.

This funding arrangement provides greater flight certainty to Air New Zealand and importers and exporters, and fosters a collaborative environment that ensures flights can proceed.

This fast-tracked funding is part of the Government's $600 million aviation support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector.

As COVID-19 has almost completely eliminated revenue from passenger services for airlines worldwide, this funding helps ensure these cargo flights are financially viable.

Is there information available on flight prices?

Air New Zealand's rate card will be available to exporters, so they can gauge the level of other charges and fees being charged by domestic intermediaries.

Request charter pricing here

Is NZTE chartering planes?

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

When will scheduled services begin? 

The first flight was scheduled to depart for Shanghai on Monday 30 March 2020. For updated scheduling on ongoing flights, visit our Flight Availability section above.

Is NZTE's air freight service available to Start customers, or companies that NZTE is not currently working with?

Yes. This service is currently available to all New Zealand companies looking to export freight via charter flight, regardless of whether they are an NZTE customer.

What kind of freight is suitable for these flights?

The movement of all freight is permitted at Alert Level 3, including the ability of business and customers to send, distribute and receive freight. All freight can enter and leave the country.

What key markets is the government focused on keeping open?

The Government has identified locations for the movement of high value exports and critical imports. Current locations include Sydney (and other Australian ports), Singapore, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Dubai (and other Middle East ports) and Shanghai (and other Chinese ports). There is a request for proposal (RFP) process in play that may reveal other ports that need support as global supply chains adapt to the effects of COVID-19.

Is the Government working with any airlines outside of Air New Zealand?
  • The MOT is reviewing a number of applications for short-term funding to address urgent and immediate risks and opportunities from air freight providers. These are being processed on a case-by-case basis.

  • These short-term arrangements will be superseded by (or transitioned to) longer term air freight capacity arrangements (at least six months) arising out of the RFP process that the Ministry is currently undertaking (applications close 03 April).

  • Following the RFP, we expect funding arrangements to be in place before the end of April with a number of airlines and air freight capacity providers on key routes.

  • Under these arrangements, providers will offer capacity to importers (including Government) and exporters, and will be required to prioritise critical imports (including medicines, medical equipment and machinery used in production) and high value exports. Both types of funding come from the COVID-19 aviation package.

How are the day to day arrangements with Air NZ being managed?

NZTE is supporting coordination of some additional flights to deliver freight capacity.

What essential goods are coming back on these charters?

The cargo mix is likely to include medicines, medical equipment and machinery used in production and may vary as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Can NZTE provide certainty around freight bookings to ensure essential goods are on the charter?

No. NZTE is supporting coordination of charter flights to deliver freight capacity. Please continue to work with your freight forwarder.

Can NZTE assist with essential goods that were booked on a particular flight which was then changed?

No. NZTE is supporting coordination of charter flights to deliver freight capacity. Please continue to work with your freight forwarder.

Can NZTE help prioritise essential goods if they are urgent and/or have a short shelf life?

No. NZTE is supporting coordination of charter flights to deliver freight capacity. Please continue to work with your freight forwarder.

All the charter flights to a particular market appear to be booked; can NZTE help me get my essential goods prioritised?

No. NZTE is supporting coordination of charter flights to deliver freight capacity. Please continue to work with your freight forwarder.

When are the next flights leaving and to which countries?

Please refer to the Flight Availability section on this website, which is updated regularly

Can NZTE help us to air freight essential goods to a destination not yet confirmed?

Please continue to work with your freight forwarder and check our website regularly for up to date information and charters.

Can NZTE assist with connecting flights between markets or between cities in countries?

No. NZTE is supporting coordination of charter flights to deliver freight capacity. Please continue to work with your freight forwarder. They are best placed to advise you on flight connections.

Will repatriation flights have freight options?

The priority throughout the repatriation process has been the safe repatriation of individuals. Where possible the government has explored whether cargo can be carried on repatriation flights. Due to a range of issues including aircraft scheduling and passenger logistics, local conditions (including lock-downs), cargo handling requirements and the pace and complexity of the contract negotiations, enabling cargo on one-off short notice flights is not always feasible. Where freight options are possible, NZTE will make the information available on their website and freight forwarders will be informed.

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 is stepping in temporarily to restore some of the previous air freight capacity via the Ministry of Transport funding, fully subsidising flights is not economically viable. Market rates for airfreight have increased and will stay above pre-covid rates in the medium term. The Government continues to monitor the situation and NZTE is capturing data on the impacts of increased costs and is sharing these insights with the Ministry of Transport.

Where can I find information on the Singapore New Zealand Airfreight Programme (SNAP)?

For information about the Singapore New Zealand Airfreight Programme (SNAP), please click here. Please direct any enquiries to snap@mfat.govt.nz.

IAFC scheme FAQs

What is the International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) Scheme?

The Ministry of Transport’s 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?

The Ministry of Transport is leading 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 first phase of contracts run to the end of June 2020. The Ministry of Transport anticipate that the scheme will run for six months and potentially longer. For further information please visit their website.

What about repatriation of New Zealanders overseas?

Some of the providers are using passenger aircraft and will work with Government on repatriation opportunities that occur along the freight routes.