Air New Zealand is canceling domestic flights booked for the coming weeks and months, just days out from when the Government will decide if we move into level two next week. It is also warning fares for the flights it does operate won't be at bargain prices. Customers have been left facing higher prices if they want to rebook. When New Zealand enters alert level 2, domestic travel will be permitted, including for tourism, although travel should not be for the purposes of attending large events or conferences. Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said the airline would operate about 20 percent of its normal domestic capacity in level 2. But he said that during Alert Level 2 Air New Zealand would not be able to offer its normal cheapest lead-in fares.
Banks have approved only 174 loans worth a total of $23 million under the Government's supposedly 'multi-billion-dollar' Business Finance Guarantee Scheme that was announced more than a month ago. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said when the banks began accepting applications for the government-guaranteed loans on April 1 that it would "help protect businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock". The scheme is designed to help businesses with an annual turnover of up to $80m secure bank loans of up to $500,000. The Government agreed to swallow 80 percent of any loss if a business defaulted on a bank loan made under the scheme, with the bank taking on only the remaining 20 percent of that risk and all of any profit. But data released by the Bankers' Association on Friday showed the scheme was not living up to expectations in its original form.
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