Rotorua Airport is welcoming a significant increase in flight capacity in and out of Rotorua over the summer season.
Air New Zealand expects to operate more than 6000 additional seats in and out of Rotorua from December to March, compared with the same period last year.
The extra capacity follows on from Air New Zealand's decision in April to reinstate the early morning flight to Wellington, following strong lobbying from the city.
Air New Zealand head of regional affairs Reuben Levermore said in terms of departures, December was expected to be one of the busiest months this calendar year for Rotorua Airport.
"Rotorua is a popular tourism destination on our regional network and we encourage people to utilise this extra capacity available over the summer months," Levermore said.
Rotorua Airport chief executive Mark Gibb said the increase in capacity over the summer season opened up more options for those wanting to fly in and out of Rotorua.
"The extra capacity over summer is a significant boost to both visitors and the wider community, providing more options for travel on any given day."
Gibb said a key focus of the airport was continuing to maintain strong passenger numbers.
"We are working across the board with a sector development strategy to growth services and capacity, and the growth of our South Island links remain a priority."
Gibb said the news come on top of strong performance from Rotorua Airport over the past year.
"In the 12 months to October 30, we have had more than quarter of a million people travelling in or out of Rotorua, with 252,223 passenger movements.
"This increase reflects the work under way to best meet the needs of travellers. We're about to embark on the redevelopment of our terminal which will future-proof our airport for the growing numbers and ensure we have an airport Rotorua can be proud of."
Rotorua Economic Development chief executive Michelle Templer said the extra flight capacity in and out of Rotorua over the summer period was a great way of strengthening links with key domestic markets, both for tourism and business travellers.
She said the extra capacity would ensure Rotorua can meet rising domestic demand and that people could easily travel for big summer events such as the Tarawera Ultramarathon, Lakeside concert and Crankworx.
"We know that these links are also very important for business travellers so we hope that Air New Zealand continues to respond to this demand beyond the summer period."