Air New Zealand is ramping up its domestic schedule for August, returning capacity to 70 per cent pre-pandemic levels.
The airline had been planning to operate around 55 per cent of its usual domestic capacity during August. An extra 400 flights will be available in August.
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.
The airline's 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Foran last month told staff that 100 cabin crew on its domestic jet and turbo prop fleet have had their redundancies rescinded.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
That's 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. But 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 next month:
• Auckland to/from Christchurch, Nelson, Queenstown, Dunedin
• Wellington to/from Blenheim, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Queenstown, Tauranga, Timaru
• Christchurch to/from Dunedin, Hamilton, Invercargill, Nelson