Air New Zealand transported mostly fresh produce and perishable goods as it marked a busy 2022 for the airline last year.


The airline said it transported 114,000 tonnes of cargo across its international and domestic networks in 2022. This is slightly lower than the 121,000 tonnes of cargo it carried across New Zealand and the world in 2021.


"It was a busy year, especially for the airline's cargo operation," Air New Zealand said.


The airline's cargo last year included 13,250 tonnes of fresh produce (the largest quantities being capsicums, blueberries, cherries, avocados, and tomatoes); 5,800 tonnes of chilled meat (lamb, beef, chicken); 3,100 tonnes of chilled salmon; and 1,400 tonnes of lobster.


Air New Zealand also moved 5,700 tonnes of other seafood (fish, clams, tuna, mussels, oysters) aside from a large number of live animals that it transported across its network.


"Air New Zealand helped transport 11,234 pets domestically and internationally last year. And not just the furry kind but birds, guinea pigs, lizards, rabbits, reptiles and even a frog and a turtle," the Kiwi airline added.


In terms of passengers, Air New Zealand carried 12.3 million customers and operated 152,000 flights across its domestic and international network in 2022 due to the border reopening last year.


The airline said this is a "whopping jump" compared to 8 million customers and 118,721 flights the previous year.


Sustainability initiatives

Last year, the airline also announced four world-leading innovators have partnered with Air New Zealand to work on Mission Next Gen Aircraft to deliver the airline's first zero emissions demonstrator flight in 2026.


Leanne Geraghty, chief customer and sales officer, said 2022 was an incredibly busy year with the border reopening. The airline restarted 24 international services - 14 of those across a 16-day period – and launched its new flagship service, NZ1, to New York.

"I'm incredibly proud of the Air New Zealand team of 10,500, including the 2,200 new employees we brought on board throughout 2022 and all that's been achieved last year," Geraghty added.

"Things are certainly looking up for 2023, and we're looking forward to carrying more customers, continuing to relocate native wildlife, transporting cargo, launching our winter route to Bali and everything in between!" the Air New Zealand executive further said.