20 April 2020
The repatriation flight into Auckland Airport today brought home 184 Kiwis from Manila aboard the Philippine Airlines flight NZPR218 at 12:41pm.
Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s General Manager Aeronautical Commercial, said the run of repatriation services had gone smoothly, and the airport had helped about 10,000 travellers, mostly outbound, with repatriation flights since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Auckland Airport’s role – regardless of what’s going on in the world – has always been to provide safe passage for travellers. Our Operations Centre, emergency services and airfield teams are fully staffed throughout the COVID-19 lockdown so we can host and support airlines and help to travellers get where they need to be.”
Philippine Ambassador H.E. Jesus S. Domingo said: “During this time of crisis people just want to come home. Kiwis returning to New Zealand, Pinoys to the Philippines. Embassies all over the world are now at the forefront of bringing our people home – and the gateway between our two countries is Auckland Airport.
“The Philippine Embassy in Wellington has been working closely with the New Zealand Government, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Philippine Airlines for the repatriation of Filipinos needing to return to Manila. It is a mirror of what the NZ Embassy in Manila is doing, coordinating the return of Kiwis and Filipinos with NZ jobs and ties. It has been hectic on both sides, with many working parts to the operation – getting into contact with our people scattered all over our respective countries, arranging their tickets, preparing for quarantine, etc.
“What has made our job much easier is the professional, pro-active and friendly assistance of the men and women of Auckland Airport. You really feel the spirit of aroha as they tirelessly work with manuhiri, in this case, Filipino guests/visitors in Aotearoa – New Zealand, displaying Manaakitanga or kindness to those in need during these trying times.
“Ngā mihi nui, maraming salamat po Auckland Airport!”
On 6 April, Philippine Airlines suspended its regular service between Manila and Auckland until early-June.
In April 2019, Auckland Airport saw about 58,000 passengers a day – that number is now down to around 3,500. The vast majority are travellers leaving New Zealand and returning home overseas. The few passengers that are arriving at Auckland Airport must now undertake a minimum of 14 days of managed isolation or quarantine in an approved facility on arrival.