Air New Zealand is poised to increase its capacity on long haul and short haul markets for the northern winter scheduling season in response to increasing demand.
Most of the additional capacity, which will be achieved through adding frequencies, will be on North American routes, with San Francisco up 17.9 per cent, Vancouver up 7.9 per cent and Los Angeles up by four per cent. Capacity on routes to Japan will increase by 6.7 per cent, while its other long haul destinations in China and the UK remain unchanged.
Norm Thompson, Air New Zealand Deputy CEO, says the extra capacity is being added as the airline starts to see a recovery in air travel, although demand still remains lower than two years ago. “We are seeing a slow, but definite sign of a recovery from the reduction in travel in 2009, however these are still 13 per cent below levels in 2008,” he said.
In the short haul arena, the airline has already announced that it plans to increase capacity by 3.8 per cent on domestic services, while on the Tasman capacity will increase by 10.2 per cent.
The announcement comes after Air New Zealand released its April operating statistics, which showed that the airline carried 1.4 per cent fewer passengers during April 2010 compared to the same time last year. Despite a 4.1 per cent reduction in capacity, a decline in revenue passenger kilometres of 6.7 per cent saw load factor fall from 81.7 to 79.4 per cent. The fall in passengers was felt particularly on trans-Tasman and long haul services, which were down 8.1 and 10.6 per cent respectively.