Air NZ, Jetstar waive change fees for Christchurch travellers after shooting

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A file image of an ATR 72-600 in Air New Zealand livery. (Rob Finlayson)

Air New Zealand has cancelled all turboprop services departing from Christchurch airport scheduled for Friday evening in response to the multiple shootings in the city.

The airline said in statement 17 regional flights have been cancelled because it {was not|had not been|has not been} possible to screen customers and their baggage. Jet-operated flights were continuing to operate as normal.

Christchurch was rocked on Friday afternoon when two mosques in the city were attacked by gunmen who fired on those attending lunchtime prayers. There {most recent|latest|newest} estimates suggest 40 {people were|individuals were|everyone was} killed in the two attacks, with scores more injured.

Police have arrested three men and one woman. Authorities are urging people to stay indoors.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters incident was “ one of New Zealand’ s darkest days”.

Customers affected by the Air New Zealand cancellations and still wanting to travel would be rebooked on the next available flight. Those who {no longer|no more|will no longer} wished to travel had {the choice of|picking out} a refund or having their fare kept in credit for up to 12 months.

“ Air New Zealand apologises for the inconvenience caused. The safety of its customers and employees is paramount, ” Air New Zealand said.

Further, the airline said anyone booked to fly into or out of Christchurch {at any time|anytime|whenever you want} until the end of the weekend would have the option to change and rebook any tickets, with change fees and fare difference waived should they {no longer be|not be} able to travel.

“ Air New Zealand has offered its support to emergency services managing the incident in Christchurch today, ” the airline said.

Jetstar said in a statement on its website it was “ waiving all costs {and change|and alter} fees for customers wanting to amend their travel plans {to the|towards the|for the} city” on Friday or Saturday.

“ If you are booked on a flight departing to or from Christchurch on Friday 15 March or Saturday 16 March 2019, and want to make changes to your flight, please contact us via Live Chat, ” Jetstar said on its website .

Christchurch Airport said the airport remained open. However , aviation security {had been|have been|was} increased as a precaution.