NZ government to spend NZ$330 million to keep air freight capacity available on key routes

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The New Zealand government says it will spend NZ$330 million ($188 million) to keep air freight services operating and to ensure air freight capacity is available on key routes for the next six months.

The six months of funding is part of the billions of dollars that the government is planning to spend to maintain essential services and soften the severe economic blow of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We recognize how important it is to continue the flow of critical imports like medicine, and also support our exporters," said Transport Minister Phil Twyford.

"The rest of the world still want our food products like milk and meat," he said.

The government is asking airlines and other air freight businesses to submit proposals for financial support that would allow them to operate freight services on key routes. It said air freight operators could also play a part in repatriating New Zealanders who are stranded overseas due to the shutdown of most passenger flights.

Air New Zealand, which received a NZ$900 million line of credit from the government last week, is expected to play a significant role in maintaining freight services

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