400 more Air NZ flights in August

Air NZ is adding more flights on domestic routes. Photo: ODT files
Air NZ is adding more flights on domestic routes. Photo: ODT files
Air New Zealand is ramping up its domestic schedule for August, including more flights to Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill, returning capacity to 70 per cent pre-pandemic levels.

The airline had been planning to operate at about 55 per cent of its usual domestic capacity during August. An extra 400 flights will be available next month.

Air NZ general manager networks Scott Carr says the airline has been pleasantly surprised with demand for domestic travel.

"As a result of demand, we've added or upgauged more than 400 one-way flights in August.

"This includes operating an additional 408 one-way flights and 18 flights which have been upgauged to a larger aircraft."

Domestic air travel has rebounded more quickly than forecast meaning a 180-degree turn at Air New Zealand on some roles.

Chief executive Greg Foran last month told staff that 100 cabin crew on its domestic jet and turbo prop fleet have had their redundancies rescinded.

That is only a small proportion of the 1300 cabin crew who have been laid off and a smaller fraction of the total of 4000 staff who have lost their jobs - with more losses possible.

However, it was an encouraging sign of strength in the domestic market.

Air New Zealand headed into the July school holidays operating around 65 per cent of its pre-Covid schedule, with destinations such as Nelson, Napier, Palmerston North and Tauranga proving particularly popular from Christchurch.

Tourist-starved Queenstown was a standout, with more bookings and capacity than this time last year reflecting the willingness of Kiwis to fill the gap left by Aussies who flocked to the ski fields.

The following domestic routes will see additional or upgauged flights:

  • Christchurch to/from Dunedin, Hamilton, Invercargill and Nelson.
  • Auckland to/from Christchurch, Nelson, Queenstown and Dunedin.
  • Wellington to/from Blenheim, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Queenstown, Tauranga and Timaru.

 

 

 

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