Air New Zealand will operate its direct A320 jet service between Auckland and Invercargill over the Christmas holidays for the first time.
The business said Kiwis’ “increased appetite for leisure travel” is behind the decision to lay on 10 additional return flights between 21 December and 10 January 2021.
The route first launched in August 2019 and resumed following New Zealand’s lockdown on 6 July.
Invercargill Airport general manager Nigel Finnerty said, “Having the extra flights over the summer holidays gives those up north every opportunity to come down and taste our amazing southern hospitality, have a good look around and just spend some time at our place. It is great news for the whole southern region.”
Air New Zealand’s head of tourism, Reuben Levermore, said, “We’ve been encouraged by Kiwis’ appetite for leisure travel over recent months. By operating the jet service over the holiday period, more friends and families will have the chance to reunite, take a holiday north or experience the deep south.”
In September, Australian Aviation reported how the Kiwi flag carrier operated 90 per cent of its pre-COVID-19 domestic schedule for the school holidays, and even ran more services to Queenstown than last year.
“We’ve added capacity to the majority of our routes in the two-week holiday period,” said Air New Zealand general manager Scott Carr. “We’re operating 1,000 extra one-way flights these school holidays compared with the July break.
“We are also offering even more capacity over the school holidays on our Queenstown routes when compared with the same time last year and the July school holidays, with more than 73,000 seats available in and out of the resort town.”