Jetstar is dramatically increasing its domestic schedule for August, returning to 90 per cent capacity of pre-Covid levels.

The uptick in services will see more than 100 return flights across six different routes from next month, with a further 25 flights added to the schedule.

Jetstar Group chief executive Gareth Evans said flight booking exceeded expectations in the first month the airline resumed domestic flights - when it was at 60 per cent of the pre-Covid flight schedule.

"It's no secret that New Zealanders love to travel, and demand for our low fares to popular
leisure destinations, such as Queenstown and Dunedin, have been really strong," he said.


"We have also seen an increase in the number of customers flying for business, specifically between Auckland and Wellington.

"While many other countries are operating a limited domestic network due to Covid-19 related restrictions, it's exciting to see the local tourism market in New Zealand going from strength to strength."

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Services between Wellington and Queenstown will resume for the peak of the winter season, while Jetstar plans to reassess its domestic schedule from November, Evans said.

Customers with bookings on the remaining 10 per cent of flights until the end of October have been contacted and offered an alternative same day flight, he said.

Evans said the rise in domestic flights would allow more tourists to travel to New Zealand's regional areas to support local businesses rebuilding from the pandemic.

"We'll continue to monitor our network and add more flights in the coming months where there is demand."

Last week Air New Zealand announced it too was ramping up its domestic schedule, returning to 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Domestic air travel has rebounded more quickly than forecast meaning a 180-degree turn at Air New Zealand on some roles.


Chief executive Greg Foran last month told staff that 100 cabin crew on its domestic jet and turbo prop fleet have had their redundancies rescinded.

Air New Zealand headed into the July school holidays operating around 65 per cent of its pre-Covid schedule, with destinations such as Nelson, Napier, Palmerston North and Tauranga proving particularly popular from Christchurch.

Tourist-starved Queenstown was a standout, with more bookings and capacity than this time last year reflecting the willingness of Kiwis to fill the gap left by Aussies who flocked to the ski fields.

Jetstar's domestic schedule from August:

• Auckland to Christchurch (30 weekly return flights, up from 24 in July)
• Auckland to Dunedin (7 return weekly flights, up from 3 in July)
• Auckland to Wellington (27 return weekly flights)
• Auckland to Queenstown (19 return weekly flights, up from 14 in July)
• Christchurch to Wellington (14 return weekly flights, up from 7 in July)
• Wellington – Queenstown (7 return weekly flights, up from 0 in July)

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