More weekday flights in and out of Tauranga Airport will start next month.

Air New Zealand said two peak flights will now leave Tauranga for Wellington before 7.30am.

The schedule also means two peak morning weekday flights to Auckland for business flyers. Both early morning flights will be operated by the airline's 68-seat ATR aircraft.

Other evening services into Tauranga from Auckland will also be operated by the larger ATR aircraft.


The changes reflect a 20 per cent growth in demand for Tauranga services over winter, compared to the same time last year. The finalised schedule will see a total of 87 return flights from Tauranga to the two cities a week.

Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive officer Kristin Dunne said she had been in discussions with Air New Zealand "for quite some time to help this become a reality and meet the needs of a growing economy".

"This is a show of faith from Air New Zealand in recognising the exponential growth this region has experienced – one that is forecast to continue."

Tauranga Airport manager Ray Dumble said greater numbers helped to enhance operational efficiency.

He said Tauranga was one of the fastest-growing airports in New Zealand in terms of arrivals and departures, and more connectivity would be great for the city.

"With the constant migration of families and businesses from the likes of Auckland to here, we are seeing increased demand for flights. This applies especially during peak business times.

"I applaud Air New Zealand for addressing this issue by adding more flights and creating a user-friendly schedule - and I have no doubt our business community does too.

"This will only further enhance Tauranga's reputation as a leading airport and destination."


Air New Zealand is adjusting its schedule to other airports.

The airline's regional affairs manager Ian Collier said it was terrific to see continued strong demand for services into and out of Tauranga.

"We are pleased we have been able to achieve this additional capacity at peak business times on both our Tauranga-Wellington and Tauranga-Auckland routes.

"This is a result of collaboration between the local chamber, airport, council and Bay of Plenty Tourism, and will be of great benefit to the wider community."

The new schedule will be published progressively.