To help celebrate Mother's Day, Air New Zealand is flying two tonnes of fresh flowers around the country - three times its usual amount.

The country's national air carrier will transport a selection of roses, oriental lilies, irises, stock and tulips from key growing areas in Hawke's Bay and wider Auckland to florists and wholesalers nationwide.

Fresh cut flowers are today being loaded on to aircraft within 45 minutes of reaching the airline's cargo depot.

Company general manager of cargo, Rick Nelson, said the team flies approximately 40 tonnes of fresh flowers around the country every year, with loads peaking at Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.


"Helping growers to reach markets with their goods in optimum condition aligns to our key purpose of supercharging New Zealand's success - boosting our country's high value export chain and helping businesses grow globally," Nelson said.

"This year we'll move around 125 million kilograms of high quality and time-sensitive exports, enabling our import and export community to trade almost anywhere in the world."

In any given week the airline moves 3000 tonnes of cargo.

In the past year alone Air New Zealand has carried 7,600,000kg of chilled fish, 3,400,000kg of meat and 2,300,000kg of capsicums.