Monday , January 24 2022

Dr Siouxsie Wiles calls on Air New Zealand to stop food and drink on domestic flights | 1 NEWS


Top microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles has called on Air New Zealand to stop eating and drinking on domestic flights amid concerns that they are unnecessarily stimulating the removal of masks.

A stewardess and passenger on board an airplane. Source:

In a Twitter thread this morning, the infectious disease expert said while people are required by law to wear masks on flights, it “has made me feel like @FlyAirNZ have never taken this requirement seriously because they continue to offer food and drink. “

She said the offer – typically “a cookie like some chips” – leads to people removing their masks to eat and drink.

“It’s not like we can survive an hour or two without her,” she said.

“This makes me really angry because they got a massive bail from the government to keep them alive & so surely back they have to do their bit for our 5 million team.”

Wiles said she had sent feedback several times to the national carrier questioning her policy but had not yet received a response.

“Fast forward to this week, less than 2 weeks of the recent Covid-19 cases identified in the community. And @FlyAirNZ are STILL serving food and drinks on domestic flights! WTF ?!”

They also criticized the airline after publishing a paper yesterday by the “Plan B boys” advocating for the lifting of border restrictions.

Wiles said the paper, which calls for the implementation of a traffic light system at the border, uses mathematical models developed by
Punaha Matatini, however, did not contact those who worked on the modeling work, but, rather, “pay the people who have been against our elimination strategy and argue NOTHING against it!”

She has since apologized, saying “someone on her payroll” had “joined the Plan B lot to do work funded by Auckland International Airport”, but Air New Zealand may not have been aware of the move.

“I’m super disappointed by the lack of leadership shown by @FlyAirNZ during this pandemic. It’s only because we follow Plan A and not Plan B that we can fly safely even now. However, they continue to undermine our public health messages. “Shame on you.”

In a statement, Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran told 1 NEWS in a recent review that the Ministry of Health “supported us” in continuing to serve food and beverages below Alert Level 1.

“We continue to have regular dialogue about our institutions with the MOH and the Department of Transportation to ensure we keep everyone safe,” he said. “Customers are of course still required to wear their mask as a face mask while not eating or drinking.”

Foran added that in his experience of traveling once a week on domestic services that serve tea and coffee, “about two-thirds of our customers choose to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a snack when they are on board. “

The airline has meanwhile reached out to Wiles to hold a dialogue on the measures to take place.

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