Widebody service will return to Wellington Airport this weekend with an all-New Zealand Super Rugby final prompting Air NZ to schedule a one-off Boeing 767-300ER flight to the nation’s capital to help fans get to the big game.
Air NZ said the 767 would add an extra 230 seats to Wellington in time for Saturday’s season decider between the Hurricanes and Highlanders and was one of several supplementary flights the airline has scheduled to meet demand.
“This weekend is always a busy one for us as the school holidays get underway. With our domestic fleet fully committed our only option was to think big, utilising a 767 from our international fleet to get hundreds more supporters to the game,” Air NZ chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod said in a statement.
Schedules published by the Airline Route website showed Air NZ planned to operate the 767 on an Auckland-Dunedin-Wellington-Auckland routing on Saturday.
While Wellington Airport does not receive regular widebody service, the airport has hosted a number of Qantas Boeing 747SP, 767s and Airbus A330s, Air NZ 777-200ERs (for relief flights after the Christchurch earthquakes) and 777-330ERs (demonstrations and flyovers) in previous years.
And as journalist John Walton noted in the July edition of Australian Aviation, there have also been occasional foreign government aircraft such as A340s and Boeing 787s for official visits to the NZ capital. And a United 747-100 also diverted to the airport in 1991.
The Hurricanes host the Dunedin-based Highlanders at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday night.
Read more about Wellington Airport’s plans to extend its runway in the July edition of Australian Aviation, on sale now.