What you need to know
In March 2020, the Government established a COVID-19 support package including an initial NZD$600 million to support the aviation sector. From this amount, $372 million was committed to the International Air Freight Capacity (IAFC) scheme to ensure critical supplies could continue to flow to and from New Zealand. The IAFC scheme ended in April 2021.
Building on the success of the IAFC, the Government established a replacement scheme called Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) to support continued air services. The MIAC scheme began in May 2021 and was scheduled to end on 31 March 2022.
To support domestic connectivity, the Government allocated NZD$30 million to the Essential Transport Connectivity (ETC) Scheme for aviation initiatives and an additional NZD$20 million for ETC non-aviation initiatives.
The New Zealand Government has since extended final MIAC support to the aviation sector until March 2023 to help rebuild international reconnections and economic recovery. This extended support aligns with the reopening of the border under the Government's Reconnecting New Zealand plans.
The final extension of this scheme will provide much-needed certainty as passenger travel recovers, protecting our links with the world, continuing to grow our export base, and getting time-critical supplies like medicines and special equipment into the country quickly.
MIAC support levels will be scaled back and ultimately end as international flight frequencies and passenger numbers recover, and international airlines return between now and 31 March 2023.
New Zealand's social and economic wellbeing is critical for the COVID-19 recovery.
Te Manatū Waka administer the Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) and Essential Transport Connectivity (ETC) schemes.
The work to date
Maintaining International Air Connectivity Scheme Extended to end of March 2022
Recipients of MIAC funding announced
The effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic continue to impact international aviation and New Zealand’s international connectivity has been drastically curtailed.
Maintaining International Air Connectivity scheme announced
The effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic continue to impact international aviation and New Zealand’s international connectivity has been drastically curtailed. Building on the success of the IAFC, and with the prospect of a recovery in international travel now in sight, the Government has set up a new scheme to support air services through to the end of October 2021, with the potential for an extension to March 2022.
International Airfreight Capacity Scheme Extended to end of April 2021
The Government has agreed to extend the IAFC scheme to the end of April 2021. Phase 2 of the IAFC scheme was originally scheduled to the end of March 2021. The one month extension gives businesses that rely on airfreight and airlines stability as the Government reviews its support for international air connectivity during the COVID-19 recovery.
International Air Freight Capacity (IAFC) Scheme
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 80% of New Zealand’s airfreight was carried in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft, with the remaining 20% carried by cargo-only freighters. Pre-COVID there were approximately 550 international passenger flights into and out of New Zealand per week.
Essential Transport Connectivity (ETC) scheme established
The ETC scheme provides support for transport providers in the short to medium term. The scheme’s goal is to ensure capacity, regional connectivity and essential services continue in the wake of COVID-19.