Kiwis looking to get away Queens Birthday will have more options with flights boosted to visitor-starved Queenstown.

Air New Zealand will resume its Wellington-Queenstown flights on May 28 and will also add additional flights between Auckland and Queenstown.

It will also start re-opening its lounges from the beginning of next week with the airline's chief revenue officer Cam Wallace tweeting that this would start in Wellington.

It has been steadily adding capacity since the country moved to level 2 last week and is moving towards serving all its 20 centre domestic network, although at much reduced frequency.


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Yesterday the airline flew 122 domestic flights with most city pairs restored, with Wallace reporting ''solid'' leisure bookings.

General manager of networks Scott Carr said the airline was sufficiently encouraged by demand for seats into Queenstown since publishing its schedule for alert level 2 that was bringing forward the resumption of services from Wellington.

In addition, we'll be adding further flights from Auckland to cater for those wanting to head south over Queen's Birthday weekend.

Non-stop flights between Wellington and Queenstown ranged in price this morning from $159 to $249 each way.

"We're keen to bring more New Zealanders to Queenstown and to boost the tourism industry in particular. The requirement for physical distancing on our services does mean that we need to also see strong demand for seats in both directions, so we hope that the additional services will also cater to Queenstown locals looking to travel north."

The airline will operate a daily return service between Wellington and Queenstown between May 28 and June 2, as well as a daily return service on June 5 and 7 using its A320 aircraft.

Jet flights returned to Queenstown last weekend. Photo/James Allan
Jet flights returned to Queenstown last weekend. Photo/James Allan

Domestic flights will prove integral for the airline, with international flying set to be limited for some time.


Air New Zealand is not banking on long-haul international routes getting back to anywhere near pre-Covid-19 levels for another year. It is hopeful regional international flights can resume sooner with the setting up of travel bubbles.

Aviation data firm OAG is predicting the normal volume of fliers might not recover until 2022 or 2023.

Air New Zealand has changed the way they do a few things to ensure safe travel at Alert Level 2. Video / Supplied

There remains enormous uncertainty about when international travel will return or which flights become available.

New Zealand has been in talks with Australia about developing a transtasman bubble, but there are no exact dates for when this route could be opened.

Travelling further abroad remains largely contingent on the international fight against coronavirus and likelihood of a vaccine being developed.