New Zealand King Salmon is welcoming the Government’s announcement of a support package for increased cargo flights to markets around the world for New Zealand exporters.

The Government today (May 2) said it will spend about $6 million a week to help boost air freight capacity coming into and out of the country. It will add 56 weekly flights to the 90 commercial and charter flights currently running. That’s down from about 600 a week before the outbreak.

The flights mostly span the Asia-Pacific region, with routes to Japan, China, South Korea, the US and Australia, although Dubai is also included. Air New Zealand will receive the bulk of the package and will operate 37 of the 56 weekly flights. Freightways will get 10, China Airlines two, Emirates four, Tasman Cargo one, and Qantas two.

The company has made representations to the Government and officials over the last few weeks about the loss of crucial air routes to key export markets due to the impact of Covid-19.

CEO Grant Rosewarne: “We want to thank the Government and NZTE officials who have listened to the challenges for exporters sending high value perishable goods overseas. With the cancellation of the majority of passenger air routes out of New Zealand, a key challenge for us has been access to air freight to send our salmon to our main markets in North America and Japan. The government has worked tirelessly with industry to find a solution to support Kiwi producers to maintain their export businesses.

“It’s crucial to have access to overseas markets to keep our business sustainable. We’re already fulfilling all the demand from our New Zealand customers, but we also have salmon available to deliver to customers internationally who are equally eager for our products, particularly for the meal delivery and online retail segments.

“As a company we are proud to have traded as an essential service through Level 4 and now into Level 3,” Mr Rosewarne added.