Airlines and coronavirus: This is what rush hour in New Zealand currently looks like

Air NZ had just one plane in the skies on April 1 – and it was empty.

Just when you thought airline news couldn't get any more astonishing, Air New Zealand has revealed domestic rush hour this morning involved just one plane in New Zealand skies - with no passengers.

The national carrier has dramatically reduced its usual flying in response to COVID-19; only flying essential workers domestically and dropping 95 per cent of its international capacity.

The airline's chief revenue officer Cam Wallace this morning revealed that the usual morning rush hour had just one flight operating across New Zealand, an ATR-72 from Nelson to Auckland.

Wallace tweeted that "6 passengers were booked, zero turned up. The plane needed to go for repositioning purposes."

The plane took off at 7.10am – a time where there would normally be dozens of Air New Zealand flights in the air carrying thousands of passengers.

Stuff has been told of other recent shifts where crew saw less than seven passengers on an entire day of flying, across multiple sectors.

Wallace indicated more cuts are coming, tweeting a "slimmer schedule is due soon."

Meanwhile, photos have emerged of dozens of Air New Zealand planes parked in Christchurch, as the airline deals with the unprecedented grounding.

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See also: Where are airlines putting all their grounded planes?