Restrictions on international travel persist, but Auckland Airport is preparing for its busiest day since March 2020.
This Friday around 28,000 people will use the domestic terminal, as New Zealanders look to take advantage of the school holidays.
Anna Cassels-Brown, general manager operations at Auckland Airport, said airport staff were gearing up to welcome the increase in traveller numbers.
"Our staff have been working steadily through the recovery of the aviation and travel sector – now we're ready, and excited, about our biggest day since the outbreak of the pandemic.
"Throughout July we're expecting domestic travellers to number around 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels."
Friday won't be the only bustling day this July, with the airport picking 10 days to be particularly busy.
Top 10 domestic travel days for July school holidays:
• Friday, 9 July
• Friday, 16 July
• Friday, 23 July
• Sunday, 11 July
• Sunday, 18 July
• Sunday, 25 July
• Monday, 12 July
• Thursday, 15 July
• Monday, 19 July
• Thursday, 22 July
The most popular regional destinations for travellers from Auckland are Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
And while the vast majority of the travel will be domestic, Cassels-Brown said many travellers would also be taking advantage of the Cook Islands travel bubble.
"Over the two weeks of the school holidays, we're expecting around 10,000 travellers to fly to and from Rarotonga."
Cassels-Brown said the travel experience for those going to either Australia or Rarotonga would be familiar despite the increased safety protocols.
"Many retailers and duty-free stores are open.
"The main difference you'll notice is the requirement to wear a mask as you go through the arrivals area upon your return to Auckland Airport. At no time will you cross paths with passengers who are going into MIQ, though."
Travellers are also advised to be cognisant of the major road layout changes due to ongoing construction as Auckland Airport makes progress on $160 million of upgrades to its facilities and transport network.
"If you haven't driven here for a while, you'll discover some big changes to the roads as part of our major improvements programme – so we're asking drivers to follow directions on signage and from construction crews onsite."