More Air New Zealand planes will fly into Tauranga Airport just in time for Queen's Birthday weekend.

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And many city leaders are thrilled at what this may mean for the local economy.

The national carrier will operate additional flights on its Wellington to Tauranga and Christchurch to Tauranga routes for the long weekend.


Between today and Tuesday, Air New Zealand will operate four extra return services between Wellington and Tauranga, and one additional return service between Christchurch and Tauranga.

Air New Zealand's Head of Tourism and Regional Affairs Reuben Levermore said they were encouraged by Kiwis' enthusiasm to explore their backyard and fly to Tauranga.

"We're proud to support the Bay of Plenty's tourism economy through additional flights for Queen's Birthday weekend."

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Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne said many tourism operators regarded Queen's Birthday weekend as the "last hurrah" for domestic tourism before the next long weekend – Labour Day – on October 26.

"I'm thrilled that Air New Zealand is throwing its support behind the Coastal Bay of Plenty's tourism industry. Safely increasing our connectivity is going to undeniably accelerate our region's economic restart," she said.

Air New Zealand was also increasing the number of services into and out of Tauranga in response to increasing demand and ability to travel throughout the country.

The Tauranga to Auckland route would see an increase to 32 return services per week, and the Tauranga to Wellington route would increase to 19 return services per week from Monday, June 1.

Tauranga Airport Chief Executive Officer Ray Dumble said he was delighted to see more of the national carrier's planes take to the skies bringing more Kiwis to Tauranga.


Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said they had been advocating for additional flights to the city for a while and had been in close contact with Air New Zealand for weeks.

He said the move was "incredibly important" and he was "very pleased" with the result.

Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell. Photo/File.
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell. Photo/File.

A number of campaigns promoting the local economy were encouraging and an increase in visitor numbers could only be good news on this front.

He hoped the city would see a good economic return as a result, he said.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said the announcement was great news for the city's tourism sector and wider business community.

"Additional flights will make it easier for more Kiwis to get around and explore our own backyard."


He said many of the busiest flights out of Tauranga were business flights and the additional routes would help the business community get back to normality faster.

Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt. Photo/ File.
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt. Photo/ File.

Nigel Tutt from PriorityOne said the Tauranga to Wellington route would be particularly beneficial for business travel and would make a big difference for many of the city's important economic links.

"This will really help with business operation for many."

He said it was also great to see the country's national carrier getting off the ground again as it played a huge role in local and national economies.

From June 8, the airline will also offer a "start-up" service for the Tauranga to Auckland route, enabling same-day return flights for business travellers.

The flight will depart from Tauranga at 7am and return from Auckland at 6.15pm.


Air New Zealand will resume its daily Tauranga to Christchurch return service also.

- Additonal reporting by Caroline Fleming