New Zealand: Air New Zealand will weigh its passengers before they board the plane

Weighing yourself before boarding a plane is Air New Zealand's recent initiative. Passengers departing from Auckland who take off overseas will now have to climb on a scale for the sake of an internal investigation.

An Air New Zealand plane. AFP/File

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With our correspondent in Wellington, Richard Tindiller

Until July 2, Air New Zealand hopes to weigh no less than 10,000 passengers departing from international flights. This study, already carried out on domestic flights in 2021, had surprised several passengers. Nevertheless, the airline ensures that this data remains anonymous and that the weight is not displayed during the weighing.

The study was commissioned by New Zealand's national civil aviation authorities who want to improve take-off safety. Among those likely to be invited to participate in the survey are mostly those traveling on the direct flight from Auckland to New York's JFK Airport, CNN reports.

« We weigh everything that passes on the plane."

Air New Zealand load control specialist James Alastair explains that "before each take-off, the pilot needs to know the weight and balance of the loads in the aircraft". "We weigh everything that happens on the plane – from cargo to meals on board to checked baggage," Alastair said. He added: "For customers, crew and carry-on baggage, we use medium weights, which we get by doing this survey."

Health statistics also reveal that New Zealanders are getting heavier. The country has the third highest obesity rate among OECD countries with a third of its adult population considered obese.

Finally, the company seeks to reassure its passengers that this investigation is voluntary-based and will help transport passengers more safely and efficiently in the future.

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  • New Zealand
  • Aeronautics