Air New Zealand has announced a major increase of capacity on its regional routes, with more than 9500 seats to be added to the network from February 2011.
The changes will see an increase in frequencies on the Wellington-Invercargill route doubling to twice daily during weekdays. Flights between Tauranga and Christchurch will increase to 11 return services a week, while there will also be additional flights from Tauranga to Wellington. Services between Auckland and Palmerston North, as well as between Auckland and Napier and Palmerston North to Christchurch are set to get a boost as they are upgraded to be operated by 68-seat ATR 72s in place of the 50-seat Bombardier Q300s currently used.
The increase in regional flying comes as Air New Zealand also prepares to introduce additional capacity on its trunk routes, with the carrier aiming to introduce A320s to its domestic operations over the next year. In part, the increase in domestic flying is being timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup which is being staged in New Zealand in September and October next year.