Hawke's Bay Airport passenger numbers have increased by 15 per cent in the year to June and look set to climb further with Air New Zealand announcing more flights, many discounted.

There were 652,426 passengers passing through the airport over the year, 85,995 more than the previous year.

The cumulative growth over two years is a 37 per cent growth.

"The increased number of flights in and out of Hawke's Bay, and larger aircraft carrying more passengers, coupled with the region's vibrant events calendar and a strong economy, have all contributed to the increase in passenger movements," Hawke's Bay Airport chief executive Nick Story said.


Air New Zealand is adding 12,800 more seats than last year for its Auckland-Napier route between November and March 2018.

It is taking the cut-price war to competitor Jetstar, expecting to sell up to one million seats for less than $100 across its domestic network over summer.

Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace said nationally it was adding 180,000 more seats across the domestic network over the peak summer months "and Napier is one of the key regions to benefit".

"The change represents a total seat capacity increase on the route of 7 per cent when compared with the same period last year."

The additional flights are being progressively released for sale.

Mr Story said Hawke's Bay Airport was "a critical enabler of local economic growth", helped by the upcoming terminal expansion.

The construction stage of the terminal redevelopment project, which will see the end of passengers collecting luggage direct from the vehicle that unloaded the plane, will begin before the end of the year, he said.

"While passengers and visitors to the airport may experience some inconvenience due to the terminal upgrade over the coming months, we are confident that all users of the airport will be very pleased with the end result," Mr Story said.


More announcements on the airport expansion project are anticipated over coming weeks.