Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia will boost winter flights between Auckland and Brisbane as Emirates pulls off the route.

An extra five flights by Air New Zealand and Virgin would add 38,000 more seats to the routes between April and October.

The decision was driven by ''an improved demand outlook'' and would give passengers the choice from up to 34 return services a week.

Air New Zealand will operate up to three extra services a week using its A320 aircraft, and Virgin Australia would operate up to two additional services with 737 aircraft.

In addition, Virgin Australia would be re-timing its weekday Auckland-Brisbane service to provide a better evening schedule with the choice of departure times of 4pm, 6pm and 7:30pm.


From March next year Emirates will no longer fly its A380 superjumbo on the route as it consolidates around its non-stop Auckland to Dubai service. Emirates' commercial partner Qantas is also boosting capacity on the Auckland-Brisbane route.

Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace said demand for transtasman travel continued to be strong.

''It's a market we're focused on growing. Together with Virgin Australia, we'll offer up to six daily return flights between Brisbane and Auckland next winter - a capacity boost of more than 10 percent compared with the same period this year."

Read more: Virgin axed from Samoa

Group executive for Virgin Australia Rob Sharp said the alliance would continue to look for opportunities to offer better connections and flight frequencies between Australia and New Zealand for its customers.

"Virgin Australia is pleased to see the growth in demand for these services and these network changes. ''

Virgin suffered a setback in Samoa in October when the Government there abruptly halted its service to New Zealand as it launched its own airline.