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Air New Zealand flies 170,000 this week as resurgence continues

written by Adam Thorn | December 22, 2020

Air New Zealand 787-9 Melbourne (Victor Pody)
An Air New Zealand 787-9 departing runway 34 at YMML (Victor Pody)

Air New Zealand has announced it’s set to operate 2,600 flights this week carrying 170,000 customers in another sign of the country’s domestic aviation resurgence.

In particular, the airline will operate 420 flights alone on Christmas Eve, which is set to be its busiest day.

The country dropped social distancing on 9 June and returned to relatively normal lives, despite a short lockdown in Auckland later in August.

Air New Zealand is still operating slightly fewer flights than 2019, though, when it scheduled 600 on its busiest day.

The business’ group general manager of airports, Chloe Surridge, said, “Operationally, it takes a lot of work to get our customers to their holiday destinations on busy days like these.


“All of our teams, from flight planners right through to our airport teams, pilots and cabin crew, are working hard to connect customers with friends and family this festive season.”

Earlier this month, Australian Aviation reported how Air New Zealand was switching many of its smaller A320s with larger A321s during the Christmas period in order to increase capacity.

The upgrades will take place from Monday, 7 December until the end of December and will add 16,000 seats. In particular, 80 per cent of Auckland-Wellington services and 25 per cent of Auckland-Christchurch services will be operated by the larger A321 with 214 seats, compared with the A320’s 171.

The business is also in the process of recalling 175 stood down cabin crew in preparation for the likely resumption of trans-Tasman flights early next year.

The employees, who work on the larger A320, have been on ‘furlough’ since June but chose to stay at the airline rather than take redundancy.

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Comments (2)

  • James


    What’s a “larger A320”? Aside from being an A321…

  • Al


    Larger than what? The ATR72, Q300?
    “The employees, who work on the larger A320, have been on furlough…..”

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