Weekend Herald

Char­ter flight of­fers Ki­wis ticket out of S. Amer­ica

- Grant Bradley Aviation · Oceania News · Travel · Latin America News · United States of America · Queenstown · Queenstown · South America · New Zealand · New Zealand Government · Santiago · Auckland Region · Chile · Argentina · Brazil · Colombia · Dubai · Doha · LATAM Airlines Group

Queen­stown firm xtravel is char­ter­ing a Dream­liner to get Ki­wis back from South Amer­ica this month, the first di­rect flight from the re­gion for six months.

The Latam flight will also carry South Amer­i­cans, stranded here since March, back home.

Xtravel part­ner Tori Keat­ing said the flight was the re­sult of months of work with the air­line and New Zealand au­thor­i­ties.

Up to 150 man­aged iso­la­tion and quar­an­tine ( MIQ) places had been al­lo­cated to the re­turnees, many of whom were fam­ily groups.

“We’ve been re­ally chuffed that the New Zealand Gov­ern­ment has been so gen­er­ous with MIQ,” she said.

The 787- 9 will fly be­tween San­ti­ago and Auck­land, ar­riv­ing on Oc­to­ber 27.

Char­ter­ing an air­craft such as a Dream­liner could cost more than $ 250,000 each way.

Many of the Ki­wis on board were farm­ing in coun­tries in­clud­ing Chile, Ar­gentina, Brazil and Colom­bia.

“Peo­ple are say­ing New Zealand is safe and if I wanted to bring my kids up any­where that’s where I want to be.” Ki­wis in South Amer­ica who want to come home now face a 60- hour marathon via Brazil and ei­ther Dubai or Doha to Auck­land. Seats were lim­ited and fares ex­pen­sive.

Adult fares on the Oc­to­ber 28 out­bound repa­tri­a­tion flight from Auck­land to San­ti­ago for about 70 peo­ple cost $ 2200 and the in­bound flights were $ 3059 for an adult seat.

The Dream­liner had 289 seats avail­able and would be half full at most, pas­sen­gers would wear face masks and fam­i­lies would be in their own bub­bles.

Pas­sen­gers must have the le­gal right to en­ter New Zealand and it is up to the pas­sen­ger to en­sure they have the cor­rect doc­u­men­ta­tion to show at check- in. Once tick­eted, all fares be­come fully non- re­fund­able and non­trans­fer­able.

Xtravel is also not re­spon­si­ble for pas­sen­gers be­ing de­nied board­ing for fail­ing to have the cor­rect visa or ex­emp­tion to en­ter New Zealand.

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