A transtasman airline lobby group has waded into the debate over opening up Whenuapai airbase for domestic flights, saying it wasn't surprised alternatives were being explored to Auckland's ''sub-optimal'' main gateway.

The renewed push comes as an analyst explains what's driving the push and weighs up the impact of such a move for travellers and the airport company.

Auckland Airport's infrastructure deficit was costing travellers, airlines and New Zealand's economy, says Airlines for Australia and New Zealand.

"It's not surprising that airlines are exploring alternative options for services into and out of Auckland airport, which delivers a suboptimal experience at

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