Air New Zealand has announced it will operate up to 10 new weekly flights between Auckland and Tauranga by the end of the year.

The airline is also reinstating the 6.05 am service from Tauranga to Christchurch.

Air NZ described the region as a "significant growth market" and said it would operate up to 80,000 additional seats to and from Tauranga in 2017.

Tourism BOP chief executive Kristin Dunne said she was thrilled with the news.


"Any increase in access to the city and the region is fantastic," she said.

"This is very positive from our perspective. Air NZ is absolutely seeing the value in our region."

Tauranga Airport, Tauranga City Council and Tourism BOP had regular meetings with the airline and were always discussing how to improve services, said Ms Dunne.

JetStar decided last year not to add Tauranga to its new regional offering. But Ms Dunne said the did not think that had a major bearing on Air NZ's latest announcement.

"This is a demonstration of the fact they are very positive about the growth in the region and how significant it is for them.

Tauranga Airport manager Ray Dumble said the decision was very good news, especially for the business community. Details of the timing of the new flights was not yet available, but it would include adding an extra flight before 9am, bringing the total to two, and was also expected to fill a couple of holes in the afternoon schedule.

"The Auckland flights in particular will give people a real choice as they can now do either a full or a half day up there," he said. "That's a biggie. It's becoming a bus service and that's what the business community wants."

In its announcement, which includes changes to other regional services, Air New Zealand said it was making the adjustments as a result of feedback on the revised domestic schedule it issued earlier this year.

"The new schedules have been generally well received by customers, although a couple of communities raised concerns around new peak business flight timings, said general manager networks Richard Thomson.

"A strength of our business is the emphasis we place on consultation and responding to customer feedback. While the response to the new schedule was very positive we have listened carefully to stakeholder and customer feedback and we're pleased to have been able to overcome some key challenges ... "