21 Oct 2017

Charter flight option fading for All Whites

12:13 pm on 21 October 2017

It appears increasingly unlikely the All Whites will fly from Wellington to Lima on a charter flight for the second leg of their World Cup playoff against Peru.

All Whites player Ryan Thomas celebrates his goal with team mates.

All Whites player Ryan Thomas celebrates his goal with team mates. Photo: Photosport NZ

With just five days separating next month's two matches in the respective capitals, New Zealand Football (NZF) had favoured a direct travel option between the two cities.

The cost to charter a plane for a flight of around 15 hours was thought to be close to $1 million, meaning the national body had looked to their Peru counterparts and Fifa for financial assistance to make it possible.

However, both options were now off the table.

NZF confirmed on Saturday that Peru had decided they did not want to share a charter, while Fifa had said they would not be providing anything towards the cost.

The news means the All Whites will likely have to use at least some form of commericial travel and probably have to leave the country via Auckland, not Wellington.

Earlier this week, All Whites manager Rob Pickstock said there were a number of considerations they were making in confirming their plans.

"Obviously getting there as quickly as possible is important but that's got to be factored in with proper recovery for players and enough preparation time on the other side.

"We've got commercial options available but we're trying to see if we can improve on those by getting a charter option. The benefit of that is you can choose the time you want to leave Wellington and consequently the arrival time in Lima, as opposed to sticking to commercial schedules which are predetermined and might not suit.

"The aircraft that can make a Pacific crossing has to be a reasonably big one by regulations, so you're looking at a 200-seater aircraft. To put 40 people on that would be crazy."

The winner of the two-legged tie between New Zealand and Peru books a spot at next year's World Cup in Russia.