More than half a million Kiwis are set to take to the skies over this school holiday break.
Air New Zealand will be operating 670,000 seats and 7500 flights across its domestic network over what is set to be the airline's busiest winter school holiday period ever.
Queenstown is the number one destination for Air New Zealand customers, with 100,000 seats in and out of the picturesque destination. Regional hubs are booming with Nelson seeing 870 flights over the break, Napier (568 flights) and Tauranga (554 flights) also proving popular for adventure-hungry Kiwis.
Chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty says the Air New Zealand crew is ready for the surge in travellers.
"We've seen a 52 per cent increase in seats for this year's school holidays versus last year, when the July school holidays saw the release of pent-up demand for air travel following national lockdowns.
"We continue to see exceptional demand. Domestic sales are so strong for July school holidays that we are intending to operate 56 per cent more domestic flights than the July 2020 school holidays."
The preparations by the airline correspond with those being made by Auckland Airport as it prepares for its busiest period since the start of the pandemic last March.
Figures released by the airport show that around 28,000 people would use the domestic terminal this Friday.
This is set to be the busiest day, but the airport has indicated that there will be high levels of traffic all the way through the month of July.
In addition to the high number of domestic flights, the airport is also preparing for around 10,000 New Zealanders to take advantage of the Cook Islands bubble.
Air New Zealand said provisions have also been made for the care of 7000 children travelling unaccompanied over the two-week period.
"Our teams are ready to help kickstart the winter break for customers no matter where they're heading these holidays," Geraghty said.
Travellers have been advised to allow plenty of time to get to the airport during this busy period.
Top 10 domestic travel days for July school holidays:
• Friday, 9 July
• Friday, 16 July
• Friday, 23 July
• Sunday, 11 July
• Sunday, 18 July
• Sunday, 25 July
• Monday, 12 July
• Thursday, 15 July
• Monday, 19 July
• Thursday, 22 July