This summer is the busiest ever for New Zealand's skies, says the country's traffic controller.

Airways New Zealand says air traffic volumes are up 11 per cent from this time last year and an 18 per cent rise from the year before that.

While more domestic traffic was contributing to the rise, inbound planes from from Asia were driving international growth, with 87 more flights arriving from the region each week compared to a year ago.

Airways says it is also seeing an extra 315 jet movements per week from this time last year, with 57 per cent of these flights coming in and out of Auckland Airport.


"Aside from a short spike during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, jet aircraft movements haven't reached these levels since 2008, ahead of the worst impacts of the Global Financial Crisis," said Airways chief executive Ed Sims.

"Over this time, airlines have progressively consolidated their fleets to larger aircraft meaning there are now more passengers and goods being transported throughout our airspace than ever before.

"The Asia-Pacific region in particular is experiencing unprecedented levels of air traffic growth - this is great news for New Zealand which benefits from greater tourism and trade over the long term."

Air traffic volumes are made up of the number of aircraft movements, aircraft weights and the distances flown.