Year in air at 35,000ft

Before 2022 starts to fly by, Air New Zealand has been crunching the numbers from the past 12 months to reveal all that’s been carried, eaten and sipped onboard our flights.

Air New Zealand carried almost 8 million customers (7,919,929 to be exact) and operated 118,721 flights around Aotearoa and the world in 2021.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says if the year has taught the airline anything, it was that Kiwis absolutely love to travel around Aotearoa.

“7.4 million customers travelled on our domestic network last year, up from 6.7 million in 2020, which is just fantastic to see.”

The increase is despite Auckland, which accounts for a significant percentage of domestic travellers, being in lockdown for several months.

One of the airline’s busiest days on the domestic network was not long after Auckland’s borders opened, with more than 30,000 customers taking to the skies on 23 December.

“We also welcomed many frequent flyers, with our most frequent flyer taking 230 flights in 2021, clocking up a staggering 96,121 kilometres in the air.”

Air New Zealand crew also helped quench customers’ thirst and handed out almost 4.5 million Cookie Time cookies, 8 million famous Air New Zealand lollies, and 1.3 million savoury snacks.

Among the other things customers enjoyed was:

  • 176,796 litres of juice
  • 96,632 litres of soft drink
  • 123,922 litres of beer
  • 40,095 litres of red wine
  • 21,182 litres of Chardonnay
  • 23,050 litres of Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2,142 litres of whiskey
  • 591,280 crackers

And it’s not just a cookie and a cuppa tea that’s a match made in heaven, so too is the airline’s continued partnership with the Department of Conservation, helping protect New Zealand’s native species.

In 2021, Air New Zealand helped relocate more than 600 threatened species and flew 73 conversation dogs around the country.

We also donated more than 720,800 goods including blankets, pillows, and cookies to support a range of charities, such as Women’s Refuge.

Keeping our customers, employees and communities safe, as always, was front of mind and in 2021, the airline was responsible for using and giving out 5,653 litres of hand sanitiser.

Air New Zealand also helped some 300 people get vaccinated, after transforming a 787-9 aircraft into a special “Jabaseat” vaccination clinic.

Shipments of vaccines and other medical supplies were carried by the airline into New Zealand, as well as Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Rarotonga, Niue and Australia.

It was a busy year, especially for the airline’s cargo operation, carrying 121,000 tonnes of cargo across New Zealand and the world.

This includes:

  • 12,200 tonnes of fresh produce (largest quantities being capsicums, blueberries, avocados and tomatoes)
  • 6,300 tonnes of chilled meat (lamb, beef and chicken)
  • 2,700 tonnes of chilled salmon
  • 1,600 tonnes of lobsters
  • 6,400 tonnes of other seafood (fish, clams, tuna, mussels, oysters)

Last year Air New Zealand also welcomed three new aircraft into its fleet, including two new A320neo aircraft and one ATR72-600 to help connect Kiwis to the regions, across the Tasman and beyond.

Ms Geraghty says despite lockdowns and continued restrictions on travel caused by the global pandemic, Air New Zealand achieved a phenomenal amount in 2021.

“I’m incredibly proud of the Air New Zealand team and all that’s been achieved last year. Things are certainly looking up for 2022, with borders expected to open in the months ahead. We’re looking forward to carrying more Kiwis to where they need to be, relocating native wildlife, transporting cargo and everything in between!”

/Public Release. View in full here.