Popular airline to start weighing passengers before they fly to ensure 'safety'

Weighing scales

Air New Zealand scales a weighty issue

Sam Montgomery

By Sam Montgomery

Published: 31/05/2023

- 15:59

Air New Zealand will conduct voluntary passenger weight survey before international flights

Air New Zealand is to start weighing willing passengers at Auckland International Airport in a measure the airline deems "essential" to ensure "the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft".

Knowing the average passenger weight is said to help improve fuel efficiency in the future.

Air New Zealand has opted to collect the data in an attempt to form a cross section of flyers.

Where the airline previously weighed domestic passengers in New Zealand in 2021, Air New Zealand has reasoned: "Now that international travel is back up and running, it's time for international flyers to weigh in."

Air New Zealand Boeing 777-319(ER) with registration ZK-OKQ at Heathrow Airport

Air New Zealand Boeing 777-319(ER) with registration ZK-OKQ at Heathrow Airport


Alastair James, a load improvement specialist for the airline, said: "We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. We want to reassure our customers there is no visible display anywhere. No one can see your weight - not even us!

"By weighing in, you'll be helping us fly safely and efficiently every time."

The airline has been quick to reassure passengers that data will be recorded and held anonymously, while no figure will be shown on the scales.

James went on to explain that knowing the weight of everything that goes on aircraft is a "regulatory requirement".

Air New Zealand airplane

Air New Zealand operate 104 aircraft


Everything from cargo and onboard meals is already weighed on flights and further data will help Air New Zealand to plan fuel for their 104 operating aircraft.

Pre pandemic, 17 million passengers flew with the airline every year with 3,400 flights a week.

The airline hopes that 10,000 passengers will take part in the survey at Auckland International Airport between 29 May and 2 July.

Last autumn, the airline introduced their new flagship 17 hour route from Auckland to New York's JFK airport, which is one of the longest flights in the world.

The longest flight in the world is operated by Singapore Airlines, from Singapore to New York's JFK at a distance of 9,537 miles and flight time of 18 hours and 50 mins.

According to the Schiphol airport website, the average Boeing 747 weighs 183,520 kg, Airbus A330 weighs 120,000 kg and Airbus A380 weighs 275,000 kg, while the Airbus A380 has a maximum take off weight is 575,000 kg.

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