Precious cargo – Air New Zealand carries RATs to the rescue


Air New Zealand is helping to bring in tens of millions of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to support Aotearoa’s Covid response over the coming months.
The airline is operating nine charter flights through to 20 February, and Air New Zealand’s General Manager Cargo Anna Palairet says there are plenty more in the works.

“Operating these charter flights was a no-brainer. There is a real urgency to bring Rapid Antigen Tests into New Zealand, and we’re proud to be playing our part in getting them here. It’s truly been a fantastic team effort between Air New Zealand, the Ministry of Health, and the freight forwarders.

“We’ve been operating charters for RAT kits since December, but things are really ramping up now. In addition to charters, we’ve also been making use of capacity on commercial flights. Where we’ve got space, we’re using it for RATs. While we are constrained by available aircraft and operating crew for charter flights, having our 777-300 back in action from last week will help to increase cargo capacity across the network.

“We know the demand is there, and our teams are doing everything they can to try and fulfill it.”

Air New Zealand has seen its cargo business skyrocket over the past two years, with an estimated 200 million tonnes of product carried since 2020.

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Devender was born in the year when the Beatles Group was formed. He holds two master’s degrees in English Literature and Public Administration. He also has an Honors degree in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Corporate Communications and Public Relations. He was closely associated with the Indian State Transport Undertakings and Ministry of Transport in his role as Corporate Communications and PR specialist for over two decades handling domestic and international organizations. He ventured into business forming his own Media House, Profiles Media Network Private Limited which is now a twenty years old company. Excelling as an editor, Marketing, PR, Anchor, and Advertising specialist, he is now expertly navigating the world of social media. A widely traveled professional internationally, Devender has a deep understanding of the Air Cargo, Cargo Business, Cargo Airports, Freighters and Cargo Industry at large.