Influx of Aucklanders anticipated

PHOTO: ODT FILES
PHOTO: ODT FILES
Air New Zealand is expecting more than 6000 Aucklanders to fly to Queenstown once the borders reopen.

Auckland’s borders will be opened next Wednesday for the first time since the Covid-19 delta outbreak began in August.

Over that period, the national carrier stopped its direct services from Auckland to the three southern airports — Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown.

Air New Zealand has also cancelled all of its transtasman flights from Queenstown while the bubble is closed.

The airline had continued flying to and from Christchurch and Wellington.

A spokeswoman for the airline said the direct services would be resuming to Dunedin and Queenstown from December 15.

Invercargill’s would resume the day after, she said.

The Auckland to Queenstown route would be one of the most popular for the airline, with more than 6000 customers expected to travel to the resort town in the week from December 15.

About 15,000 passengers were booked to travel across Air New Zealand’s domestic network in that week.

Its Dunedin and Invercargill services were also expected to be popular and the airline was not ruling out putting on additional flights if needed, the spokeswoman said.

Air New Zealand’s biggest competitor, Jetstar, also stopped its direct Auckland services to Queenstown and Dunedin when the outbreak started.

Jetstar confirmed it would be resuming its usual schedule next Wednesday — up to three daily services to Queenstown and once daily to Dunedin.

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