An Air New Zealand flight has carried 300 seasonal workers from Hawke's Bay, Blenheim, Gisborne, Martinborough and the Bay of Plenty home. The airline has been working closely with New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc, the largest employer of Samoan seasonal workers in the country. The company has been coordinating the return of workers employed by several orchards across the country.
There are more than 2000 Samoan workers in New Zealand during the country’s fruit picking season.
Air New Zealand received approval from the Samoan government to operate the flight. A second flight has been scheduled for Friday, July 31, carrying only seasonal workers. The two services are in addition to the fortnightly repatriation flights which have been operating between Auckland and Apia since May 29.