Air New Zealand back to 70% capacity in August

written by Adam Thorn | July 24, 2020
An Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)
An Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

Air New Zealand will ramp up its domestic capacity quicker than planned and operate at 70 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels in August.

The airline had targeted running at just 55 per cent but said it was “pleasantly surprised” by demand.

The move was made possible after the country dropped social distancing in early June after eradicating coronavirus altogether.

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Air New Zealand’s general manager of networks, Scott Carr, said the business will add or increase the capacity of more than 400 one-way flights next month.

“This includes operating an additional 408 one-way flights and 18 flights which have been upgauged to a larger [capacity] aircraft,” said Carr.

The routes to benefit include:

Auckland to/from

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  • Christchurch
  • Nelson
  • Queenstown
  • Wellington

Christchurch to/from

  • Dunedin
  • Hamilton
  • Invercargill
  • Nelson
  • New Plymouth
  • Palmerston North
  • Queenstown
  • Tauranga
  • Wellington

Wellington to/from

  • Blenheim
  • Dunedin
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Nelson
  • New Plymouth
  • Queenstown
  • Tauranga
  • Timaru

It comes after the airline actually offered more capacity on its Auckland-Queenstown route during the July school holidays this month than it did last year.

However, the increases contrast with the international situation, where Air New Zealand has extended a halt on all inbound international bookings until 29 July.

The move, made in conjunction with the national government, is designed to help its coronavirus quarantine centres better manage the flow of arrivals.

Chief executive Greg Foran has reassured Kiwis struggling to return home there were will be additional capacity in August.

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