By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California’s COVID-19 situation is so bad, Air New Zealand will re-route its North American flights so their crews can overnight in Honolulu, rather than Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Starting Monday, all of Air New Zealand’s cargo flight crews traveling to the United States will overnight in Honolulu. Flight crews on the airline’s passenger flights will be routed via Honolulu starting on Feb. 2.

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The airline says one set of crews will fly between Hawaii and California, while another set of crews will fly the route between Hawaii and New Zealand. Re-routing Air New Zealand’s North American flights allows its employees to overnight in a lower-risk destination, the airline said.

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“While it’s important to keep trade routes open and passenger services operating for our customers, looking after our people is our first priority,” Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said in a statement.

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New Zealand has had one of the best responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the world and has had fewer than 2,200 total cases since it began.