Air New Zealand will offer more capacity on its Auckland-Queenstown route during the July school holidays next month than it did last year, in an encouraging sign demand is returning quicker than expected post-pandemic.
General manager networks Scott Carr said the change is possible because the airline has upgraded 140 return services from A320 to larger A321neo aircraft between 29 June and 26 July.
“This is great news for tourism and those wanting to hit the slopes,” Carr said.
It comes as the airline is set to significantly increase domestic capacity on a number of routes, including flights to and from Auckland to Wellington, Dunedin and Queenstown, Wellington to Christchurch and Dunedin and Queenstown.
Specifically, Air New Zealand will also operate 16 return services to and from Auckland and Christchurch between 1 July and 19 July, reflecting 10,000 additional seats.
“We’ll be adding a number of extra services on our regional routes in the week leading up to the school holidays including to and from Blenheim, Dunedin, Gisborne, Hamilton, Invercargill, Kerikeri, Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson, Palmerston North, Rotorua and Tauranga,” said Carr.
Earlier this month, the airline announced it would significantly increase its domestic capacity from 20 to 55 per cent in July and August, including restarting its direct A320 service between Auckland and Invercargill.
Air New Zealand is now operating to all 20 domestic ports it serviced pre-coronavirus and has dropped social distancing in line with the country lowering its coronavirus restrictions to ‘Alert Level 2’.